Linda Pagani , B.A. , M.A. , Ph.D.
    Linda Pagani
    Research Axis
    Brain and Child Development Axis
    Research Theme
    Neurodevelopmental diseases

    514 343-6111, ext. 2524

    514 343-6951


    Career Summary

    Born (in 1964) and raised in the west end of the Greater Montreal area, Professor Linda Pagani worked as a registered nurse (1984-1994) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital of Montreal for ten years (medicine, surgery, CVA rehabilitation, and finally, psychiatry). During that decade, she also earned university degrees at both Concordia University (BA Psychology 1986-1989) and McGill University (MA and PhD Educational and Counseling Psychology 1989-1993) in Montreal, Canada. After her doctorate, she pursued a postdoctoral fellowship in longitudinal analysis of human development at the University of Montreal (1993-1994), using some of the most valued and informative longitudinal data sets of North American children. The University of Montreal remains the largest French-speaking educational institution worldwide. After leaving the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 1994, she became an Assistant Professor at the University of Montreal. Since 2005, Dr Pagani has been ranked as Full Professor at the École de Psychoéducation. She also has served as Senior Researcher, since 1999, at the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center (Brain Health Division), a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Montreal. From 1996 to 2005, she was the recipient of a Junior Research Award from the Conseil Québécois de la Recherche Sociale. In the 1990s, she devoted her energy to understanding the impact of poverty on children's achievement and psycho-social development. Between 1997 and 1999, she launched Montreal Longitudinal-Experimental Study, which was meant to evaluate the long-term effects of the Montreal Head Start Program. The children from several cohorts were between 48 and 60 months at the first data collection wave. This long-term study, on children from the most impoverished areas of the city, has been generously supported by the Fonds de la Recherche sur la Société et la Culture, the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec, and Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. In collaboration with colleagues from the Research Center, Dr. Pagani published a landmark study in the 1990s on the prospective influence of early family transitions (divorce and remarriage) on children’s long-term behavioral outcomes, using growth mixture modeling. Growth mixture modeling was an enormous innovation back then, given that longitudinal studies of human development were rare and analyses at the time were quite rudimentary. Later on, she conducted another remarkable study on the consequences of early family transitions on later delinquency, which in turn led to yet another concern, family poverty, which subsequently became the topic of her entire research program until 2005. Her research findings, strongly influenced by her consultations with economist Greg Duncan, confirmed that poverty may in fact lead to difficulties with school-related outcomes. However, given behavioral disorders often observed in previous studies in less fortunate populations, this outcome results from family transitions rather than poverty itself. In light of these results, Dr. Pagani became more interested in the fight against poverty through interventions in schools. In 2001, while using the development trajectory approach (growth mixture modeling), she conducted a novel research project on the impact of grade retention in primary school on later behavioral outcomes. This study was published in Development and Psychopathology in 2001. It remains a unique publication, with enduring citation, and continues to be referred to in school-related policies world-wide. That same year, she also co-edited a book entitled Clinical Assessment of Dangerousness: Empirical Contributions, published at Cambridge University Press. Republished in 2009, this world-renowned book advocates the reliability of clinical decisions concerning dangerousness and received excellent reviews in professional journals, including the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) which was particularly praiseworthy. Her work is frequently cited in textbooks and journals such as American Psychologist and the JAMA. From 2003 to 2008, Dr. Pagani was appointed a Founding Member and Researcher at the Center for Pathways from Childhood to Adulthood (CAPCA), based at the University of Michigan, a multidisciplinary research unit (funded by the National Science Foundation, in the US). The most important work emanating from that experience was the trailblazing “What Matters Most in School Readiness” study, led by renown economist Greg Duncan, on more than 35,000 kindergarteners from multiple countries (Duncan et al., 2007; in Developmental Psychology). That study included children from her Montreal Longitudinal-Experimental study, launched in 1997, which was also featured in a gambling study, published in Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine and honored as one of Time Magazine’s Health Achievements of the Year in December, 2009. Dr. Pagani is also a researcher in the School Environment Research Group, based at the University of Montreal. Her main preoccupation in that group has been to follow-up the school readiness work and extend it to include the importance of motor skills and to prevent high school dropout.

    Over the past decade, her research expertise has expanded to address modifiable factors in early childhood that ultimately can affect human development. Her energy is targeted at improving social and health policies addressing youth. Her productive research agenda has increasingly focused on examining: (1) the unique long-term risks associated with screen-time in early childhood; (2) the unique and combined long-term risks associated with gestational and secondhand smoke; and (3) the unique long-term benefits and risks associated with childhood extracurricular sports. She teaches and/or supervises several courses University of Montreal: Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods (3 credits, undergraduate BSc), Prevention and Social and Health Policies (3 credits, graduate MSc/PhD); and Evaluation and Treatment of ADHD (3 credits, undergraduate BSc and 3 credits, graduate MSc/PhD). Her main clinical expertise as a clinical psychologist is diagnosis and care of children, adolescents, and adults with ADHD and its comorbid disorders. She also offers 1-day, 3-day, or 5-day workshops on (1) scientific writing for AMA and APA journals; (2) ADHD Diagnosis and Care and (3) Research Methods in the Social Sciences.

    Awards and Distinctions

    • 2001 Junior Research Award (renewal), Conseil québécois de la recherche sociale (CQRS)
    • 1997 Young Investigator Award (renewal), Infant and Child Mental Health Axis, Mental Health Network, Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec
    • 1996 Young Investigator Award, Infant and Child Mental Health Axis of the Mental Health Network, Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec
    • 1996 Junior Research Award, Conseil québécois de la recherche sociale


    Here are several of her favorite scientific contributions (with students) from a larger selection

    Early child televiewing and later development   

    Pagani, L. S., Lévesque-Seck, F., & Fitzpatrick, C. (2016). Prospective associations between televiewing at toddlerhood and later self-reported social impairment at middle school in a Canadian longitudinal cohort born in 1997/1998. Psychological Medicine, 1-9.

    Watt, E., Fitzpatrick, C., Derevensky, J. L. & Pagani, L.S. (2015). Too much television? Prospective associations between early childhood televiewing and later self-reports of victimization by sixth grade classmates. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 36(6), 426-433. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000186

    Pagani, L. Fitzpatrick C. & Barnett, T. (2013). Early childhood television viewing and kindergarten entry readiness. Pediatric Research.  doi: 10.1038/pr.2013.105.

    Fitzpatrick, C., Barnett, T.A., & Pagani, L.S. (2012). Early exposure to violent media and later child adjustment. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 33(4), 291–297. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e31824eaab3

    Pagani, L. S., Fitzpatrick, C., Barnett, T. A., & Dubow, E. (2010). Prospective associations between early childhood television exposure and academic, psychosocial, and physical well-being by middle childhood. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 164, 425-431. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.50.

    Tobacco Smoke

    Pagani, L. S., Lévesque-Seck, F., Archambault, I, & Janosz, M. (2016). Early childhood household smoke exposure prospectively predicts antisocial behavior at age 12. Indoor Air.

    Pagani, L.S. & Fitzpatrick, C. (2015). Early childhood household smoke exposure predicts less task-oriented classroom behavior at age 10. Health Education and Behavior.

    Pagani, L.S., Nguyen, D., Fitzpatrick, C. (2015). Prospective associations between early long-term household secondhand smoke exposure and subsequent indicators of metabolic risk at age 10. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv128

    Pagani, L.S., & Fitzpatrick, C. (2013). Prospective associations between early long-term household tobacco smoke exposure and antisocial behavior in later childhood. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 67:552-557. doi: 10.1136/jech-2012-202191

    Pagani, L. S. (2014). Environmental tobacco smoke exposure and brain development: The case of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews44, 195-205. doi:

    Fitzpatrick, C., Barnett, T.A., & Pagani, L.S. (2013). Parental bad habits breed bad behavior in youth: exposure to gestational smoke and child impulsivity. International Journal of Psychophysiology. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2012.11.006.


    Pagani, L. S., Brière, F. N., & Janosz, M. (2017). Fluid reasoning skills at the high school transition predict subsequent dropout. Intelligence

    Fitzpatrick, C., Archambault, I., Janosz, M., & Pagani, L. S. (2015). Early childhood working memory forecasts high school dropout risk. Intelligence,53, 160-165. doi:10.1016/j.intell.2015.10.002

    Fitzpatrick, C., & Pagani, L.S. (2013). Task-oriented behavior pays off in later childhood. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 34, 94-101doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e31827a3779

    Briere, F. Fallu, J.-S., Janosz, M., & Pagani, L. (2012). Prospective Associations between Meth/amphetamine and MDMA (Ecstasy) Use and Depressive Symptoms in High School Students. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 66, 990-994. doi: 10.1136/jech-2011-200706.

    Fitzpatrick, C., & Pagani, L.S. (2011). Working memory skills predict kindergarten school readiness, Intelligence, 40, 205–212. doi:10.1016/j.intell.2011.11.007

    Pagani, L. S., Fitzpatrick, C., & Parent, S. (2012). Relating kindergarten attention to subsequent developmental pathways of classroom engagement throughout primary school. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40, 715-725. doi: 10.1007/s10802-011-9605-4

    Pagani L, Fitzpatrick C, Archambault I, Janosz M. School readiness and later achievement: A French Canadian replication and extension. Dev Psych. 2010:46;984-994.  

    Archambault, I., Janosz, M., Morizot, J., & Pagani, L. S. (2009). Adolescent behavioral, affective, and cognitive engagement in school: Relationship to dropout. Journal of School Health, 79, 402-409. (Co-writer)

    Archambault, I., Janosz, M., Fallu, J.S., & Pagani, L. S. (2009). Student engagement and its relationship with early high school dropout. Journal of Adolescence32(3), 651-670. (Co-writer)

    Pagani, L.S., Japel, C., Tremblay, R. E., Vitaro, F., Larose, S., & McDuff, P. (2008). When prediction models fail: Developmental discontinuities in high school completion. Journal of Social Issues, 64(1), 175-184.

    Duncan, G.J., Dowsett, C.J., Claessens, A., Magnuson, K., Huston, A.C., Klebanov, P., Pagani, L.S., Feinstein, L., Engel, M., Brooks-Gunn, J., Sexton, H., Duckworth, K., Japel, C. (2007). School Readiness and Later Achievement. Developmental Psychology, 43(6), 1428 - 1446 (Co-writer).

    Pagani, L., Tremblay, R. E., Vitaro, F., Boulerice, B., & McDuff, P. (2001). Effects of grade retention on academic performance and behavioral development. Development and Psychopathology, 13, 297-315.

    Pagani, L. S., Boulerice, B., Tremblay, R. E., & Vitaro, F. (1999). Effects of poverty on academic failure and delinquency in boys: A change and process model approach. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 40(8), 1209-1219.

    Pagani, L. S., Boulerice, B., Tremblay, R. E., & Vitaro, F. (1997).  Behavioral development in children of divorce and remarriage.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38(7), 769-781.

    Physical Activity

    Fitzpatrick C, Barnett TA., & Pagani LS. (2012). Early childhood television viewing predicts explosive leg strength and waist circumference by middle childhood. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 9, 87-91. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-9-87.

    Pagani, L. S., Harbec, M. J., Fortin, G., & Barnett, T. A. (2020). Childhood exercise as medicine: Extracurricular sport diminishes subsequent ADHD symptoms. Preventive Medicine141. December 2020, 106256.

    Pagani, L. S., Ellemberg, D., & Moore, R. D. (2020). Clinically historical and prospective associations between learning disorders and concussion in young adult athletes. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine14(2), 187-193.

    Nguyen, S., Häcker, A. L., Henderson, M., Barnett, T., Mathieu, M. E., Pagani, L., & Bigras, J. L. (2016). Physical activity programs with post-intervention follow-up in children: A comprehensive review according to categories of intervention. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health13(7), 664-681. doi:10.3390/ijerph13070664


    Pinard, G.-F., & Pagani, L. (Editors) (2nd edition: 2009; first edition: 2001). Clinical Assessment of Dangerousness: Empirical Contributions. New York: Cambridge University Press.   (286 pages)

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