Dr. Afifi has developed two primary research interests in the areas of child maltreatment (including child abuse, neglect, physical punishment, and exposure to intimate partner violence) and problem gambling. She has used population-based data from Canada, the United States, and the Netherlands to investigate mental and physical health correlates of both family violence and problem gambling. Dr. Afifi has published over 75 peer-reviewed journal publications and presented research findings in over 90 national and international conference proceedings. Dr. Afifi has participated in over 100 media interviews for print, radio, television, and social media resulting in over 1,500 known worldwide news stories. With regard to child maltreatment, Dr. Afifi is interested in studying mental and physical health correlates of physical punishment, protective factors related to resilience following child maltreatment, and effective child maltreatment interventions. In the area of problem gambling, Dr. Afifi is interested in studying gender differences related to problem gambling, the incidence of problem gambling and trends over time, the impact of parental gambling problems on children, and the relationship between family violence and problem gambling.
Industry Expertise (8)
Health and Wellness
Health Care - Services
Areas of Expertise (7)
CIHR New Investigator Award (professional)
Dr. Afifi is currently holds a CIHR New Investigator Award (2013-2018).
Merit Award in Research (professional)
In 2013, Dr. Afifi was the recipient of a Merit Award in Research from the University of Manitoba.
University of Manitoba: Ph.D., Community Health Sciences 2009
Dissertation: problem gambling among women in Canada.
University of Manitoba: M.Sc., Science 2003
Thesis: focused on the relationship between child physical abuse and adolescent motherhood.
University of Manitoba: B.Sc., Science 1999
- Winnipeg Rh Institute Foundation
- United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child
Media Appearances (7)
Half of Canadian soldiers faced childhood abuse, study indicates
CBC News online
"We thought it was really an important finding," says Tracie Afifi, associate professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Manitoba and lead author of the research released Wednesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Psychiatry...
Currier: Child Abuse And The Connection To The Canadian Armed Forces
New research published in the Journal of American medical Association (JAMA) reveals a shockingly high number of Canada’s armed forces personnel were abused as children. Researcher Tracie Afifi of the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Community Health Sciences joined me in studio to talk about these stunning numbers. You can listen to that conversation right here...
The Case Against Spanking
Does conceiving, giving birth to or raising a child give you the right to hit another human being? Under Canada’s current laws it does. However, among the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which the Liberal government has committed to follow, is a repeal of the “spanking law.” Currently, this law allows parents and caregivers in Canada to use force to discipline a child...
1 in 3 Canadians suffered some form of child abuse linked to mental disorders
Global News online
Tracie Afifi of the University of Manitoba says previous estimates were based on a nearly 25-year-old study from Ontario and more recent data from Quebec...
One in three Canadian adults has experienced child abuse: study
CTV News online
"That might include more difficulties with mood disorders and anxiety disorder,” University of Manitoba child abuse researcher Tracie Afifi told CTV News. “They may be more likely to use substances including alcohol and drugs.”...
Physical punishment associated with poor health in adulthood
Global News online
Tracie Afifi, an assistant professor of community health at the Unviersity of Manitoba, says children given harsh physical punishment are more likely to suffer obesity and some health problems as adults...
Link between spanking and health problems scientifically established
“A lot of people have opinions on whether or not physical punishment is safe, and those opinions are usually based on their own experience. We would like for people to really consider [this information], not disregard it because it might not fit with what they currently do… This is real science”, says University of Manitoba researcher, Tracie Afifi...
Individual-and Relationship-Level Factors Related to Better Mental Health Outcomes following Child Abuse: Results from a Nationally Representative Canadian SampleThe Canadian Journal of Psychiatry
2016 Child abuse can have devastating mental health consequences. Fortunately, not all individuals exposed to child abuse will suffer from poor mental health. Understanding what factors are related to good mental health following child abuse can provide evidence to inform prevention of impairment. Our objectives were to 1) describe the prevalence of good, moderate, and poor mental health among respondents with and without a child abuse history; 2) examine the relationships between child abuse and good, moderate, and poor ...
Trends in suicidal behaviour and use of mental health services in Canadian military and civilian populationsCanadian Medical Journal
2016 In the context of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan, substantial media attention has been placed on mental health and lack of access to treatment among Canadian Forces personnel. We compared trends in the prevalence of suicidal behaviour and the use of mental health services between Canadian military personnel and the general population from 2002 to 2012/13. Methods: We obtained data for respondents aged 18-60 years who participated in 4 nationally representative surveys by Statistics Canada ...
Linking Typologies of Childhood Adversity to Adult Incarceration: Findings From a Nationally Representative SampleEducational Publishing Foundation
2016 Ecologically valid typologies of adverse child experiences (ACEs) were identified to investigate the link between ACEs and adultincarceration. In a nationally representative sample (N= 34,653, age 20+), latent class analysis (LCA) was conducted with childhood maltreatment (physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, interpersonal violence [IPV] exposure, physical neglect) and caregiver maladjustment (substance use, incarceration, mental illness, and suicidal behavior) indicators. LCA identified a 5-typology model (1. Low Adversity ...
The Temporal Relationship Between Faulty Gambling Cognitions and Gambling Severity in Young AdultsJournal of Gambling Studies
2016 Disordered gambling in young adults is hypothesized as being related to mistaken gambling-related cognitions. Few studies have examined the temporal order of this relationship using longitudinal data. The purpose of this study is to understand the directionality of the relationship between gambling cognitions and gambling severity in a longitudinal sample of young adults. Young adults (N= 578), initially aged 18–21 years, completed the Manitoba Longitudinal Survey of Young Adults at two time points ...
The Risk of Men's and Women's Intimate Partner Violence Victimization Across Activity Limitation Types in CanadaPartner Abuse
2016 Despite the growing body of research on violence against persons with activity limitations (ALs), only a handful of studies of intimate partner violence (IPV) and ALs have included men in their analyses. This study used a nationally representative sample of 15,010 Canadians to examine the risk of IPV against men and women with and without ALs. Results showed that, with controls for age and education, men and women with any type of AL faced an elevated risk of IPV victimization. Adjusting for perpetrator-related risk factors fully ...