Carolyn Côté-Lussier , Ph.D.

    514 345-4931 #3232

    514 345-4801

    Research Project Title

    Feeling good: Social and built environment predictors of youths’ feeling of safety at school and in the community, and the effects of feeling safe on youths’ mental and physical health

    University Program

    Social and Preventive Medicine


    Université de Montréal

    Research Interests

    Ecological approaches to public health suggest that features of the social and physical environment can have important consequences on health outcomes. Some evidence suggests that parents’ reports of neighbourhood safety and features of the local environment (e.g., crime rate) help explain youths’ health-related behaviours (e.g., levels of physical activity). However, little research has investigated factors contributing to youths’ own perceived safety, and its association with their health outcomes. What features of the neighbourhood do youth take into account when deciding how safe it is to play outside or walk to school? Do children who perceive their school and neighbourhood as being unsafe suffer from emotional troubles and anxiety? This research uses data from the Quebec Adiposity and Lifestyle Investigation in Youth (QUALITY) and the Québec Longitudinal Study of Child Development (QLSCD) to help identify features of 8 to 13 year olds’ neighbourhood (e.g., trust in neighbours, social and physical disorder, income level, greenery, access to parks, lighting) and experiences (e.g., victimization at school, quality of relations with their teachers and parents, socio-economic background, family structure) that contribute to their perceived safety at school and in the community. Next, youths’ perceived safety will be used to help explain physical (e.g., physical activity level, screen-time, BMI) and mental health (e.g., depression and anxiety symptoms) outcomes. This research will help identify features of the local environment that can be targeted by social policies and community members to improve youths’ perceptions of safety and health. The long-term impacts of this research could also contribute to reducing income inequality related health disparities.

    Awards and Distinctions

    • 2013-2015 Fonds de Recherche Québec – Société et Culture, Postdoctoral fellowship
    • 2008-2011 LSE PhD Scholarship, London School of Economics and Political Science
    • 2009-2010 Santander Travel Research Fund
    • 2008-2009 Central Research Fund Grant, University of London
    • 2007-2008 John Edwards Award (top M.A. student at the Centre of Criminology, University of Toronto)
    • 2007-2008 Departmental Fellowship, Centre of Criminology, University of Toronto
    • 2007-2008 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Graduate Scholarship
    • 2006 Senate's Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement, Carleton University
    • 2005-2006 Dean's List, Carleton University
    • 2005-2006 Gerhard Herzberg Scholarship, Carleton University
    • 2004-2005 Dean's List, Carleton University
    • 2004-2005 George Fierheller Scholarship, Carleton University
    • 2003-2004 Entrance Scholarship, Carleton University


    • Côté-Lussier, C., Barnett, T. A, Kestens, Y., Fitzpatrick, C., Thanh Tu, M. & Séguin, L. (June, 2013). Poverty, the neighbourhood and feelings of safety at school: Applying an ecological model to explain youths' weight and weight-related behaviours. International Network for Research on Inequalities in Child Health 5th Annual Workshop, Stanford, California.
    • Côté-Lussier, C., Barnett, T. A, Kestens, Y., Fitzpatrick, C., Thanh Tu, M. & Séguin, L. (May, 2013). La pauvreté, le quartier et le sentiment de sécurité à l’école: L’application d’un modèle écologique pour expliquer les comportements liés au poids et au surpoids des jeunes de l’ÉLDEQ. 81e Congrès de l’Association francophone pour le savoir, Québec, Québec.
    • Côté-Lussier, C. & Barnett, T. A. (October, 2012). Neighbourhood typology based on features of the built environment and associations with adiposity in youth. Life History Research Society, Surrey, UK.


    • Côté-Lussier C. (accepted for publication). Fight fire with fire: The effect of perceived anger on punitive intuitions. Emotion.
    • Côté-Lussier, C. (2013). Narratives of legitimacy: Police expansionism and the contest over policing. Policing & Society, 23(2), 183-203.

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