Dr. Beitchman is the TD Bank Financial Group Chair in Child and Adolescent. He has pursued two major lines of research inquiry. The first, on the interface between childhood speech and language impairment and psychiatric disorder, the second an exploration of the genetic factors associated with childhood aggressive behaviour.
Dr. Beitchman is currently completing a 20-year follow-up of a community cohort of speech and language impaired children and matched normal controls. This work examines the moderating effect of transitional age variables such as occupational choice, marital status, and parenthood, among others, on the effects of antecedent risk variables. Several analytic themes are being examined through this work. One involves the description of eight clinical profiles: anxious youth vs. anxious drinkers, depressed youth vs. depressed drug abusers, antisocial youth vs. antisocial drinkers, and drug abusers vs. problem drinkers. A host of risk variables associated with these clinical profiles and their outcomes at age 19 and at age 25 are being examined. A second major theme examines the psychosocial outcome at age 25 using such measures as the Global Assessment of Functioning, the Quality of Life and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. A third theme explores growth models of psychosocial functioning across the four time points of this study