Jenna D. Shapka

Department Head

Scholarly Interests:

AdolescenceAdolescent developmentBullyingGenderSocial and Emotional DevelopmentTechnology

Scholarly Interests:

Dr. Shapka’s training is in the area of developmental psychology, and she is particularly interested in identifying how contextual factors are contributing to developmental wellbeing for adolescents. To this end, she has been exploring the impact of what it means to grow up in an information age by examining the impact of the internet on social and cognitive development.  Her current research is focused on exploring the online risks associated with cyberbullying, as well as privacy-related concerns due to the over-disclosure of personal information online.


Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring, 2015

Courses Taught

EPSE 313

EPSE 501

EPSE 505

EPSE 630

ETEC 512

EPSE 585


University of Toronto OISE

Research Projects

Active Projects:

CyberKids: Understanding the Online Social Worlds of Children and Youth

We are currently collecting data for a longitudinal study looking at how children and youth use the Internet. Kids spend a large amount of time online socializing with friends and acquaintances.  Indeed, communication technologies allow teenagers to be in near constant connection with their peers.  However, with this connectedness comes an increased risk of being exposed to cyberbullying, as well as privacy concerns related to disclosure of personal information online. This longitudinal research intends to explore how parents and peers relationships may be influencing these more adverse aspects of online socializing. Ideally this research will help ensure that the Internet, which is now a ubiquitous aspect of daily life, is a safe space for all children and youth. This research is funded by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Canadian Institute for Health Research and will be useful for policy makers, educators, and parents alike.


We are currently recruiting and collecting data for the CKLive project, which utilizes an Experience Sampling Method (ESM) framework. The purpose of this study is to learn about different types of difficulties or problems that youth might have when they’re socializing online, such as cyberbullying and online aggression. From past studies, we know that children and teenagers are the largest users of the Internet, and spend much of their online time socializing with friends. Although we are starting to understand some of the predictors and consequences of cyberbullying, very little is known about how adolescents experience these events in the moment as they are happening, which is the goal of the current study. By understanding the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours as they unfold, we will be in a better position to develop intervention and education programs.

Older/Completed Projects:

YouthMADE: Media By, For, and About Youth

YouthMADE (Media Arts Diversity Empowermentis a media production, facilitation training and educational outreach project run by the Access to Media Education Society (AMES).  The project was aimed at building capacity for marginalized youth and involved having 20 multi-barriered urban and rural youth between the ages of 15 and 18 came together on a remote island in British Columbia to participate in a 10-day intensive media production training.  Participants self organized into small production teams to create films about racism, homophobia and social isolation.  Each of the YouthMADE videos have since been showcased in a series of youth-facilitated anti-discrimination workshops that have reached over 3300 elementary and secondary students and teachers. These workshops have shown promise as powerful social-emotional/social responsibility educational tools, as well as catalysts for community-based dialogue. This project and its artifacts contribute to an emergent understanding of youths’ media and cultural practices, and highlight the importance of digital story telling for fostering empathy and increasing understanding of diversity.

Instant Messenger as a Tool for Interview Research: Help or Hindrance

Researchers have begun to use e-mail, chat rooms and Instant Messenger to conduct qualitative research with a variety of participants. However, given the absence of previous research on the nature of online interview methods, these studies must simply assume that their methods yield results that are equivalent to those obtained in research employing traditional face-to-face interviews.  The principal objective of this research is to explore the utility of a synchronous medium of online communication for conducting semi-structured research interviews about career and educational aspirations, with adolescent participants.  This research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanity Council of Canada.

Selected Publications

Hutchinson, L., Shapka, J.D., and Perry, N. (2021). Assessing young children’s self-regulation in school contexts. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 28, 545-583.

Khan, S., Shapka, J.D., & Domene, J.F. (2021). Counsellors’ experiences of online therapy. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 50, 43-65.

Onditi H.Z. & Shapka, J.D. (2021). The Negative Effects of Cyberbullying on Secondary School Adolescents in Tanzania. Journal of Education, Humanities, and Science. 10, 51-65.

Parent, N., Bond, T., & Shapka, J.D. (2021). Smartphones as attachment targets: An attachment theory framework for understanding problematic smartphone use. Current Psychology.

Parent, N., Dadgar, K., Xiao, B., Hesse, C., & Shapka, J.D. (2021). Feeling socially disconnected during COVID-19: A mixed-methods study on the role of attachment, fear of missing out, and smartphone use. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 3,748-763.

Xiao, B., Baitz, R., Onditi, H.Z., Sam, J., & Shapka, J.D. (2021). Cybervictimization, Time Spent Online and Developmental Trajectories of Online Privacy Concerns among Early Adolescents. Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies, 3, 1094-1105.

Law, D.M., Shapka, J.D., & Collie, R.J. (2020). Who is more likely to flourish and who is more likely to languish? Adolescent social and mental health profiles and their online experiences and behaviors. Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies2, 82-92.

Maghsoudi, R., Shapka, J.D., & Wisniewski, P. (2020). Examining how online risk exposure and online social capital influence adolescent psychological stress. Computers in Human Behavior, 113.

Parent, N. & Shapka, J.D. (2020). Moving beyond Addiction: An Attachment Theory Framework for Understanding Young Adults’ Relationships with their Smartphones. Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies2, 179-185.

Onditi H.Z. & Shapka, J.D. (2019). Cyberbullying and cybervictimization in Tanzania Secondary Schools: Prevalence and predictors. Journal of Education, Humanities, and Science. 8, 1-10.

Rosen, N., Genee, I., Ankutowicz, J., Petker, T., & Shapka, J.D. (2019). A Comparative analysis of rhythmic patterns in settler-heritage English and Blackfoot English in Southern Alberta. Canadian Journal of Linguistics/Revue Canadienne De Linguistique, 1-18.

Shapka, J.D. (2019). Adolescent technology engagement: It’s more complicated than a lack of self-control. Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies, 1, 103-110.

Gagne, M.H., Schonert-Reichl, K., Costigan, C., Guhn, M., & Shapka, J.D.(2018). Factors predicting the stratified academic trajectories of foreign-born Canadian adolescents: A population-based study. Applied Developmental Science. 1-18.

Shapka, J.D., Onditi, H.Z, Collie, R.J., Lapidot, N. (2018). Cyberbullying and cybervictimization within a Canadian and Tanzanian context. Child Development89, 89-99.

Wisniewski, T.,White, C., Green, C., Elder, A.F., Sohel, S., Perry, N.E., & Shapka, J.D. (2018). Supporting Students through Role Redefinition: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective. Education as Change, 22, 1-23.

Shapka, J.D., Maghsoudi, R. (2017). Examining the validity and reliability of the cyber-aggression and victimization scale. Computers in Human Behaviour69, 10-17.

Collie, R.J., Shapka, J.D., Perry, N.E., & Martin, A.J.,(2016). Teachers’ psychological functioning in the workspace: Exploring the roles of contextual beliefs, need satisfaction, and personal characteristics. Journal of Educational Psychology, 108, 788-799.

Khan, S., Gagné, M.H., Yang, L.M., & Shapka, J.D. (2016). Exploring the relationship between adolescent’s self-concept and their offline and online social worlds. Computers in Human Behavior, 55, 940-945.

Shapka, J.D., Domene, J.,F., Khan, S., & Yang, L.M. (2016). Online versus in-person interviews with adolescents: An exploration of data equivalence. Computers in Human Behavior, 58, 361-367.

Wisener, K., Shapka, J.D., & Jarvis-Selinger, K. (2016). Sustaining health education research programs in Aboriginal communities. Global Health Promotion.

Collie, R.J., Shapka, J.D., Perry, N.E., & Martin, A.J. (2015). Teacher well-being: Exploring its components and a practice-oriented scale. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 8, 744-756. 

Collie, R.J., Shapka, J.D., Perry, N.E., & Martin, A.J. (2015). Teachers’ beliefs about social-emotional learning: Identifying teacher profiles and their relations with job stress and satisfaction. Learning and Instruction, 39, 148-157.

Gagné, M.H. & Shapka J.D. (2014). Moving beyond grades: The social and emotional well-being of Chinese Canadians at school. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 5, 373-382.

Shapka, J.D. & Law, D.M. (2013). Does one size fit all? Ethnic differences in parenting behaviors and motivations for adolescent engagement in cyberbullying. Journal of Youth and Adolescence42, 723-738.

 Shapka, J. D. & Law, D. M. (2013). Does one size fit all? Ethnic differences in parenting behaviors and motivations for adolescent engagement in cyberbullying.  Journal of Youth and Adolescence42, 723-738.

 Runions, K. C., Shapka, J. D., Dooley, J. J., & Modecki, K. (2013). Cyber Aggression, Victimization, and Social Information Processing: Addressing the Medium and the Message. Psychology of Violence 3, 9-26.