Tricia van Rhijn

Department Chair & Professor, FRHD
Department of Family Relations & Applied Nutrition
Email: 
tricia.vanrhijn@uoguelph.ca
Phone number: 
(519) 824-4120 ext. 52412
Office: 
Macdonald Institute, Room 245

Research interests: early childhood education & care, inclusion, children with disabilities, parent-child relationships, lifelong learning, mature students and student parents in postsecondary study

Area: Family Relations and Human Development

Description of research: I am an interdisciplinary social scientist and Registered Early Childhood Educator with research interests related to early childhood education and adult education. I am a mixed methods researcher with a goal of producing socially useful knowledge. Accordingly, much of my research focuses on policy- and practice-based considerations and applications.

I have two distinct areas of research interest that I investigate utilizing quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods approaches. My first area of research is early childhood education. In particular, I am interested in the experiences of children with disabilities and their families, inclusion, the impacts of curricular and teaching practice in early childhood settings on child development and well-being, and the professional development of pre-service Early Childhood Educators. Some examples of this research include projects examining the inclusion of children with disabilities in early learning settings and the use of technology in the classroom. As a Registered Early Childhood Educator, my work has a strong applied focus related to not only child outcomes, but also the needs of the workforce.

My second area of research is adult education, with a focus on the experiences of non-traditional students (in particular, student parents and mature students) pursuing formal post-secondary study. Some examples of this research include projects examining national-level data to determine the prevalence of mature learners and student parents in post-secondary education, conducting a longitudinal study of the experiences of mature learners focused on their multiple roles, and interviewing partnered mature students about the relationship between their partner and school roles. A goal of this work is to improve the provision of supports to enable this unique population to complete their studies and have positive experiences while studying.

The majority of my research is conducted with student collaborators, both at the graduate and undergraduate level, and my goal is to mentor student researchers and facilitate their interest and engagement in the research process.

PhD (FRAN-FRHD) – University of Guelph, 2012

Recent Publications*:

Maich, K., van Rhijn, T., Hall, C., Mallabar, S., Vause, T., Squires, K., Hatt, A., & Ahi, M. (2022). Employing intensive teaching triads to enhance the impact of a peer-mediated social skills program. International Journal of Inclusive Educationhttps://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2022.2115155

Avery, K., van Rhijn, T., & Maich, K. (2022). Understanding the role of formal and informal support resources for parents of children with Austim Spectrum Disorder. Canadian Journal of Family and Youth, 14(3), 32-51. https://doi.org/10.29173/cjfy29791

Easterbrook, R., van Rhijn, T., & Neustifter, R. (2022). LGBTQ+ parents' experiences talking with their children about sex and sexuality. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 31(1), 130-142. https://doi.org/10.3138/cjhs.2021-0049

Squires, K., van Rhijn, T., Harwood, D., & Coghill, M. (2021). Outdoor learning as a way forward during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. eceLINK Peer Reviewed Collection, 5(2), 21-33. https://hdl.handle.net/10214/26529

Underwood, K., van Rhijn, T., Balter, A., Feltham, L., Douglas, P., Parekh, G., & Lawrence, B. (2021). Pandemic effects: Ableism, exclusion, and procedural bias. Journal of Childhood Studies, 46(3), 16-29. https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs463202119970
 
van Rhijn, T., Underwood, K., Frankel, E., Lero, D. S., Spalding, K., Janus, M., Friendly, M., & Haché, A. (2021). Role of child care in creating inclusive communities and access for all. Canadian Public Policy, 47(3), 399-409. https://doi.org/10.3138/cpp.2021-010
 
Balter, A., van Rhijn, T., Gores, D., Davies, A. W. J., & Akers, T. (2021). Supporting the development of sexuality in early childhood: The rationales and barriers to sexuality education in early learning settings. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 30(3), 287-295.. https://doi.org/10.3138/cjhs.2021-0034
 
Davies, A. W. J., Balter, A., van Rhijn, T., Spracklin, J., Maich, K., & Soud, R. (2021, advanced access). Sexuality education for children and youth with autism spectrum disorder in Canada. Intervention in School and Clinic. https://doi.org/10.1177/10534512211051068
 
Davies, A. W. J., Balter, A., & van Rhijn, T. (2021, advanced access). Sexuality education and early childhood educators in Ontario, Canada: A Foucauldian exploration of constraints and possibilities. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. https://doi.org/10.1177/14639491211060787 
 
Balter, A., Gores, D., & van Rhijn, T., Katz, J., Kassies, I., Gleason, M., & Joseph, J. (2021). The development of sexuality in childhood: An outcome evaluation for a professional development training for early learning professionals. eceLINK Peer Reviewed Collection, 5(1), 18-32. https://hdl.handle.net/10214/25492
 
van Rhijn, T., Osborne, C., Ranby, S., Maich, K., Hall, C., Rzepecki, L., & Hemmerich, A. (2021). Peer play in inclusive child care settings: Assessing the impact of Stay, Play, & Talk, a peer-mediated social skills program. Child Care in Practice, 27(3), 224-238. https://doi.org/10.1080/13575279.2019.1588707
 
Maich, K., Belcher, C., Davies, A. W. J., Rose, J., & van Rhijn, T. (2022). Pathology persists and stigma stays: Representations of (autistic) Stephen Greaves in the post-apocalyptic world. Disability & Society, 37(6), 955-971. https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2020.1862641
 
Underwood, K., Church, K., & van Rhijn, T. (2020). Responsible for normal: The contradictory work of families. In S. Winton & G. Parekh (Eds.), Critical Perspectives on Education Policy and Schools, Families and Communities (pp. 89-106). Information Age Publishing.
 
 
*I maintain a collection on the University of Guelph’s institutional repository to promote open access to my work. My collection can be accessed at the following link: https://atrium.lib.uoguelph.ca/xmlui/handle/10214/8564 

*Student co-authors are underlined

What is the best policy mix for diverse Canadian families with young children? Reimagning family policies (SSHRC Partnership Grant; Co-I; PI Dr. Andrea Doucet, Brock University; 2020-2027)

Naturalized vs. traditional playgrounds: Investigating the impact of playground types on young children's play behaviours and activity levels (SSHRC Insight Development Grant; PI; 2019-2021)

Inclusive Early Childhood Service System project: A longitudinal study of familial viewpoints of early childhood disability services (SSHRC Partnership Grant; Co-I; PI Dr. Kathryn Underwood, Ryerson University; 2018-2025)

Postdoctoral Fellow: Alice-Simone Balter

PhD: Victoria Fritz, Kim Squires

MSc: Taylor Akers, Kim Barton, Grace Caya, Megan Coghill