Current Research

lab secret valentine: Adri receives a cookie made in his likeness

lab secret valentine: Adri receives a cookie made in his likeness


Some children have difficulty getting along with classroom peers. These peer problems can contribute to children disengaging from school and ultimately, learning less academic material in the classroom. Teachers are sometimes at a loss to know how to manage children’s social problems.

Our lab designed an intervention, MOSAIC (Making Socially Accepting, Inclusive Classrooms), to help peers be more inclusive and tolerant of one another. We think that MOSAIC will have particular benefit for students with ADHD (because these children tend to have peer and academic problems), but that MOSAIC should help any student who is seen as different by their peer group and is at risk for being socially marginalized.

We have just gotten started with the current study, which is a dual-site trial (Vancouver, BC and Athens, OH, United States). We are testing MOSAIC in general education elementary school classrooms (grades 1-3) during the regular school year. We expect to be running this study from 2016-2020.

Previously we tested MOSAIC in a small, short-term pilot study taking place in a summer program enrolling 24 children with ADHD and 113 typically-developing youth ages 6-9 (50% girls). Children with ADHD experienced MOSAIC and also standard behavioral contingency management in a repeated measures crossover design. Teacher education students (n=32) were trained to deliver the treatments. While both MOSAIC and the behavioral management condition reduced children’s disruptive behavior, MOSAIC was more efficacious in improving children’s peer relationships. The two main papers summarizing results from this study have now been published (Mikami et al., 2013, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology; Mikami et al., 2013, School Psychology Review) and we have several other manuscripts published or in preparation that also involve the dataset. This dataset is available for graduate and undergraduate student projects.

The pilot study of MOSAIC was funded by National Institute of Mental Health 1R21 MH901486 to Amori Mikami (PI). The current trial, which is just beginning, is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences R324A160053 to Amori Mikami (PI) and Julie Owens (co-PI). The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award also supports Amori Mikami’s efforts.


2015-12-03 10.52.12

lab secret santa: everyone deserves to be queen for a day

It can be painful for parents to watch their children never get invited to birthday parties and playdates, but it is hard for parents to know what to do about these problems. We are conducting a dual site clinical trial (Vancouver, BC and Ottawa/Gatineau, ON/QC) comparing two psychosocial interventions to assist parents of elementary school-age children with ADHD to understand and handle their children’s friendship problems.

This new trial began in the summer of 2013 and be conducted until 2019. We are assessing the efficacy of the treatments on children’s social behavior, friendship making, and relationships with their parents. We are interested in knowing which treatment is most useful for what type of problems, or which type of children. The knowledge we gain can hopefully be used to help match families with appropriate treatments in the future.

At this point we are mostly through data collection for this study, and we are not enrolling any new participants. Some of the initial data from participants is available at this point for students to analyze, and more data is being collected and cleaned all the time.

Previous to the current trial, I collected pilot data about one of the interventions in 2007-2009 from 124 families, 62 of whom had children (ages 6-10) with ADHD and 62 of whom had age– and sex– matched typically developing children. The main results have been published (see Mikami et al., 2010a, 2010b, Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology) and the dataset is available for graduate students. The other intervention we are providing has been validated by another lab group. Initial results from the pilot data suggested that parents play an important role in helping improve the social behaviors of children with ADHD.

The pilot study was funded by National Institute of Mental Health 1R03 MH079019 and the CHADD Young Scientist Research Award to Amori Mikami (PI). The new dual-site study is being funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research to Amori Mikami (PI) and Sebastien Normand (Co-PI). The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award also supports Amori Mikami’s efforts.


Kristen, Sophie, Mary, and Adri can’t wait to do flying trapeze. Jenn, however, can wait.


Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm!

However, we know relatively little about the types of social interactions that players are having around the game, why some players have lots of social interactions and others do not, and how these types of digital social interactions (positive and negative) may affect adjustment. We are running a small pilot study of university students who play Pokemon Go, to try to learn more about these questions. Stay tuned.

lab bubble tea!

lab bubble tea with Jenn, Adri, Kristen, Mary


Making the transition from high school to university can be both exciting and stressful. The development of good friendships with fellow incoming students is an important part of helping people to feel connected to the new university environment, to be happy, and to be invested in school. Particularly if someone is attending university far from home, these new social relationships at the university may be exceptionally valuable.

In this study, we are examining the social relationships of first year University of British Columbia students in face-to-face contexts as well as on the social networking website Facebook. We are looking to understand how relationships offline and online contribute to academic success, emotional adjustment (such as lower anxiety), and feelings of belonging in their transition to University of British Columbia. This study started in 2012 and concluded in 2014. Manuscripts based on this study have now been submitted and further data analysis is underway.

This study was funded by an Insight Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, support from the UBC Office of International Student Development, and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award to Amori Mikami (PI).


and more lab bubble tea!

more lab bubble tea (plus a straw that matches my hair)

In this investigation, which was the precursor to the Making Socially Accepting Inclusive Classrooms Study, we examined teacher practices that were associated with children developing good peer relationships.

Data have been collected (and are available for graduate students to analyze) from 26 elementary school teachers and 490 students in their classrooms, followed over one school year. Children’s behaviors were assessed by parent and teacher report and observations; teacher practices were assessed by observations and self-report.

Initial results suggested that although children with ADHD symptoms were at high risk for becoming progressively more peer-rejected over the course of the school year, there are teacher practices that mitigate this trajectory (see Mikami et al., 2012, Journal of School Psychology.) These teacher practices identified became the basis for the MOSAIC intervention that we designed to help teachers create a more socially accepting classroom peer climate.

This study was funded by the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Fellowship to Amori Mikami (PI).


Evaluation of a teacher professional development intervention with Joseph Allen (University of Virginia), Robert Pianta (University of Virginia) and Anne Gregory (Rutgers University).

Investigation of adolescent and adult outcomes in a longitudinal follow-up of girls with ADHD with Stephen Hinshaw (University of California at Berkeley).