Faculty Bio

Dr. Corinne Syrnyk

Director of Research, Chair and Associate Professor,

Dr. Syrnyk is a developmental psychologist with specialties in social emotional and mental health (SEMH) issues in children, and Human-Animal Interaction (HAI). She is especially interested in the efficacy of psychoeducational systems of intervention for children with SEMH issues, particularly the Nurture Approach (NA). An evidence-based, government recognized school-based intervention in the UK, the NA is an effective means of improving student outcomes. Part of her current research (funded in part by SSHRC) investigates the applicability of the NA for marginalized, Canadian schools. She also collaborates with Dr. McArthur to explore the impact of HAI’s for issues related to psychological wellness and aspects of lifespan development.

  • Syrnyk, C., McArthur, A., Zwack, A., & Handelsman, A. (in press). Supporting young readers: A mixed-methods study of their literacy, behaviour, and perceptions when reading Aloud to dogs or adults. Early Childhood Education Journal. Syrnyk, C. & McArthur, A. (under review). The impact of animal-assisted intervention on academic burnout in undergraduate students. Journal of Society and Animals.
  • Syrnyk, C. & McArthur, A. (under review). Reading to dogs at home: A pilot study. Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin.
  • Syrnyk, C. & McArthur, A. (2022). The characteristics and motivations of human volunteers of animal-assisted interventions. Human Animal Interaction Bulletin, 10(2), 99-114.
  • Syrnyk, C. (2018). Knowing nurture: Experiences of teaching assistants for children with SEMH. British Journal of Special Education, 45(3), 329-348.
  • McArthur, A., & Syrnyk, C. (2018).