Dr. Sheri Madigan
University of Calgary
Dr. Sheri Madigan is clinical child psychologist and Canada Research Chair in Determinants of Child Development at the University of Calgary. Dr. Madigan’s research has predominantly focused on the intergenerational transmission of attachment, with a particular focus on how disrupted caregiving behavior puts children at a heightened risk for disorganized attachment. She is currently spearheading the AMBIANCE-brief Project (Atypical Maternal Behaviour Instrument for Assessment and Classification; Bronfman, Madigan, & Lyons-Ruth, 2009), a national, multi-site research and community partnership anchored in attachment research and supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The AMBIANCE is a validated observational tool of disrupted caregiving behavior widely used to identify children at risk for disorganized attachment. Dr. Madigan has recently led a validation study that examines how a modified, shortened version of the AMBIANCE tool can be used in clinical settings to identify the most salient indicators of problematic parenting behaviors in order to make it more feasible in practice settings. This collaborative and applied research project aims to bridge the knowledge-to-practice gap in child and family services. Together with Drs. Lyons-Ruth and Bronfman, Dr. Madigan hosts AMBIANCE training workshops across the globe for clinicians and researchers.
Dr. Madigan serves on the International Advisory Board for Attachment and Human Development. She has received a variety of awards acknowledging her contribution to the field of child development, including the Killam Emerging Research Leader Award (2018) and the World Association for Infant Mental Health New Investigator Award (2015). She serves as the child psychology expert for a national television network and regularly disseminates research findings to the public through published op-eds on parenting and child development (https://theconversation.com/profiles/sheri-madigan-417151/articles). Her research is frequently reported on by news agencies worldwide, including The New York Times, TIME, The Guardian, BBC News, CNN, and The Globe and Mail.