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Brenda  Lee - University of New Brunswick . Fredericton , NB, CA

Brenda Lee Brenda  Lee

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Psychology | University of New Brunswick

Fredericton , NB, CANADA

Relationship and sex researcher investigating relationship maintenance and dissolution; clinical therapist; safer spaces facilitator.



I am a clinical psychologist-in-training by trade. My research topics have addressed intimate relationship maintenance and breakup, human sexuality, and gender dynamics. Clinically, I primarily work with children with developmental and learning disorders. I also have expertise in developing and fostering a swing dance community in Fredericton, NB, and am currently the Safety Coordinator of the Fredericton Swing Dance Club.

Industry Expertise (6)

Mental Health Care Research Training and Development Women Sport - Amateur Public Relations and Communications

Areas of Expertise (17)

Clinical and Health Psychology Human Sexuality Intimate Relationships Intimate Partner Violence Psychology Research Research Analysis Abnormal Psychology Developmental Psychology Sexuality Romantic Relationships Gender Learning and Attention Disorders Developmental and learning disorders Stalking Moral Psychology Psychological Assessment

Accomplishments (1)

Snodgrass Graduate Research Proposal Award (professional)

Recipients of this award is chosen by an adjudicating committee struck by the Chair of the Department of Psychology. The award was made based on the scholarly merit of your research, which was judged on the basis of the following criteria: innovation, rigour, and potential to make a contribution to the discipline, as well as on your competence in presenting the study in the proposal.

Education (1)

University of New Brunswick: Ph.D. Candidate, Clinical Psychology

Affiliations (2)

  • Canadian Psychological Association
  • Canadian Sex Research Forum

Languages (1)

  • English

Media Appearances (4)

Interview on CBC Radio

CBC | The Current  radio


Regarding my Masters level research on post-relationship breakup contact and tracking.

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Quoted in Elle Canada

Elle Canada  print


Regarding my Masters level research on post-relationship breakup contact and tracking.

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Interview on CBC Information Morning

CBC | Information Morning Fredericton  radio


Promoting the Fredericton Swing Dance Club and its inaugural Swingin' to Spring event.

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Interview on the Daily Gleaner

Telegraph Journal | The Daily Gleaner  print


Interview and research feature by Chislett, T. regarding my Masters level research on post-relationship breakup contact and tracking. "Breaking up still hard to do for young adults" (A8).

Research Grants (2)

Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships - Doctoral scholarship

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council 


The SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) Doctoral Scholarships aim to develop research skills and assist in the training of highly qualified personnel by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of scholarly achievement in undergraduate and graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities.

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Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships - Master’s scholarship

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council 


The objective of the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s (CGS M) Program is to help develop research skills and assist in the training of highly qualified personnel by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies.

The CGS M Program provides financial support to high-calibre scholars who are engaged in eligible master’s or, in some cases, doctoral programs in Canada (refer to Eligibility). This support allows these scholars to fully concentrate on their studies in their chosen fields.

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Articles (4)

The ex-factor: Characteristics of online and offline post-relationship contact and tracking among Canadian emerging adults. Canadian Journal Of Human Sexuality


The breakup of an intimate relationship is a highly distressing event among emerging adults (Cutler, Glaeser, Norberg, 2001) and can often be accompanied by difficulty adjusting to the loss and ‘‘letting go’’ (Mearns, 1991). Research on stalking and cyberstalking behaviours address criminal activities that incite fear in a target (e.g., Spitzberg & Cupach, 2007). Little is known about more general post-relationship contact and tracking (PRCT), that is, efforts to maintain or re-establish contact with an ex-partner or to track their whereabouts, new partnerships or activities. To understand both the use and experience of PRCT, we examined reports from 271 Canadian emerging adults (aged 18–25) regarding their most recent breakup within the prior year. Results indicated that online and offline forms of post-relationship contact and tracking were common, characterizing 87.8% of all recent breakups, and were typically used in conjunction. In fact, online forms rarely occurred in isolation. Attempts to keep in contact were most commonly reported by users and targets of behaviours, whereas extreme and threatening behaviours that might comprise stalking or cyberstalking were rare. No gender differences were found in the use of PRCT behaviours, although women reported experiencing more offline forms.

Relationships, breakups, stalking, cyberstalking, online, emerging adulthood

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It Hurts to Let You Go: Characteristics of Romantic Relationships, Breakups and the Aftermath Among Emerging Adults Journal of Relationships Research


Relationship breakups are common (Connolly & McIsaac, 2009), and difficulty adjusting to the breakup can manifest as post-relationship contact and tracking (PRCT; Lee & O'Sullivan, 2014). Emerging adults (n = 271; aged 18–25; 66% female) provided reports of PRCT after their most recent breakup in the previous year. We examined relationship and breakup characteristics to predict the use of and experience of PRCT. Logistic regression analyses revealed that ex-partner initiation of the breakup and a more intense breakup predicted the use of PRCT, and ex-partner's surprise regarding the breakup predicted being a target of PRCT. A between-subjects comparison of participants who either used or experienced PRCT reported similar impact of PRCT on the self or their ex-partner. However, participants who both used and experienced PRCT reported that the impact that an ex-partner's PRCT had on their lives was more negative than their use of PRCT had on their ex-partner's life, likely reflecting an actor-observer bias in reports. Difficulty adjusting to relationship breakup is normal, and predictive of attempts to remain in contact with an ex-partner. However, the seemingly benign form of contact can have a negative impact on individuals. The findings have implications for those counselling individuals in distress following a breakup, and contribute to the discourse around boundaries after a breakup.

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Hierarchical Integration of Agency and Communion: A Study of Influential Moral Figures Journal of Personality


The purpose of this research is to (a) identify which of recent history's influential figures did and which did not personify moral excellence, and (b) to examine the motives that drove these individuals along such divergent paths. In Study 1, 102 social scientists evaluated the moral qualities of influential figures from Time Magazine's lists. In Study 2, we selected the 15 top ranking of these figures to comprise a moral exemplar group and the bottom 15 to comprise a comparison group of similarly influential people. We measured the motivational aspects of their personality (agency and communion) by content-analyzing extant speeches and interviews. Moral exemplars exhibited the hierarchical integration of agency and communion by treating agentic motives as a means to an end of communal motives. Comparison subjects, by contrast, personified unmitigated agency by treating motives of agency as both a means to an end and an end unto itself. These results imply that both the strength and structure of a person's motives account for moral behavior.

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The Integration of Agency and Communion in Moral Personality: Evidence of Enlightened Self-Interest Journal of Personality and Social Psychology


Agency and communion are fundamental human motives, often conceptualized as being in tension. This study examines the notion that moral exemplars overcome this tension and adaptively integrate these 2 motives within their personality. Participants were 25 moral exemplars—recipients of a national award for extraordinary volunteerism—and 25 demographically matched comparison participants. Each participant responded to a life review interview and provided a list of personal strivings, which were coded for themes of agency and communion; interviews were also coded for the relationship between agency and communion. Results consistently indicated that exemplars not only had both more agency and communion than did comparison participants but were also more likely to integrate these themes within their personality. Consistent with our claim that enlightened self-interest is driving this phenomenon, this effect was evident only when agency and communion were conceptualized in terms of promoting interests (of the self and others, respectively) and not in terms of psychological distance (from others) and only when the interaction was observed with a person approach and not with the traditional variable approach. After providing a conceptual replication of these results using different measures elicited in different contexts and relying on different coding procedures, we addressed and dismissed various alternative explanations, including chance co-occurrence and generalized complexity. These results provide the first reliable evidence of the integration of motives of agency and communion in moral personality.

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