Andrea Breen

Andrea Breen, Associate Professor, FRHD
Associate Professor, FRHD
Department of Family Relations & Applied Nutrition
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 x53967
MacDonald Institute (MINS), 233

Research Interests: Family relationships and well-being; Human-dog relationships in family contexts; Allyship and decolonizing research methodologies; Storytelling, identity and well-being.

Area: Family Relations and Human Development

Description of Research: 

I am Co-Director of FIDO (Families Interacting with Dogs) along with Dr. Lynda Ashbourne. FIDO focuses on the interconnectedness of human and canine well-being within families. We are actively recruiting graduate students for this project.

I am Principal Investigator for the SSHRC-funded project, Young Carers Coming of Age: Transitions in the Context of the Caregiving Relationship, which examines family relationships and the transition to adulthood in families where young people are care providers ("young carers"), as well as the Caregiving during COVID-19 study.

My work also includes a focus on allyship and de-colonizing research methodologies. Along with Shawn Wilson and Lindsay DuPré, I am co-editor of the book, Research and Reconciliation: Unsettling Ways of Knowing through Indigenous Relationships (Canadian Scholars Press).

My research has also focused on narrative identity development--how we use stories to construct identity and how those stories are shaped by larger cultural narratives. My research has emphasized relations between identity processes, mental health and well-being, with an emphasis on identity development through interaction with stories.

I completed my Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. I hold a Masters degree in Risk and Prevention from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor of Education from McGill University. I spent several years working in the area of youth mental health and violence prevention. I am an ISCP-accredited dog trainer.

Accepting graduate students:

Fall 2020: Yes. Accepting students.

Wilson, S., Breen, A.V., & DuPré, L. (in press). Mining for Culture or Researching for Justice? Unsettling Psychology through Indigenist Conversation. In K. C. McLean (Ed). Cultural methods in psychology: Describing and transforming cultures. Oxford University Press.


Breen, A. V. & Rice, C., Dion, S., Fowlie, H. & Breen, A.V. (in press). Identifying and working through settler ignorance. Critical Studies in Education.


Breen, A. V. & Walton, K., Breen, A, V., Gruson-Wood, J., Jewell, K., Haycraft, E. & Haines, J. (2020). Dishing on Dinner: A life course approach to understanding the family meal context among families with preschoolers. Public Health Nutrition. DOI: 10.1017/s1368980020001779


Breen, A. V., Scott, C., & McLean, K. C. (2019). The “stuff” of narrative identity: Touring big and small stories in emerging adults’ dorm rooms. Qualitative Psychology. Advance online publication.


Wilson, S, Breen, A.V., & Du Pré, L. (2019). Research and Reconciliation: Unsettling Ways of Knowing through Indigenous Relationships. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press. 


Areguy, F., Mock, S., Breen, A.V., Van Rhijn, T. & Wilson, K. (2019). Communal orientation, benefit-finding and coping among young carers. Journal of Child and Youth Services. 


Breen, A.V. McLean, K.C., Cairney, K. & McAdams, D. P. (2017). Movies, books and identity: Exploring the narrative ecology of the self. Qualitative Psychology, 4(3), 243-259. 


Breen, A. V. & McLean, K. C. (2017). The intersection of personal and master narratives: Is redemption for everyone? In B. Schiff, E., McKim, & S. Patron (Eds.), Life and Narrative: The Risks and Responsibilities of Storying Experience (pp. 197-213). Oxford University Press.


Breen, A.V., Twigger, K., Duvieusart-Dery, C., Boulé, J., Borgo, A., et al. (2018). We learn by doing: Teaching and learning Knowledge Translation skills at the graduate level. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 9 (1)


McLean, K. C. & Breen, A. V. (2016). Selves in a world of stories during emerging adulthood. In J. Arnett (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Emerging Adulthood (385-420). New York: Oxford University Press.