The marathon runner of child development research



Child development is a broad area of study that has long occupied researchers. Richard Ernest Tremblay, professor of Psychology, Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Université de Montréal, is one of those who have devoted their careers to this field.

Direct physical aggression predicts other forms of aggression.

For over 30 years, Dr. Tremblay has conducted longitudinal studies that have become a worldwide reference. Through his analyses of the developmental trajectories of more than 30,000 children who were followed from birth to adulthood, he has succeeded in shedding rigorous light on the origins of aggressive behaviour. The research results obtained by Richard E. Tremblay and his team at the Research Unit on Children's Psychosocial Maladjustment (GRIP) leave no doubt: direct physical aggression predicts other forms of aggression.

Dr. Tremblay's primary research topics include the identification of the genetic and environmental aspects of aggression. In recent years he has conducted "epigenetic" studies in seeking to understand how environment and personal history influence gene expression and, more specifically, the changes transmitted from one generation to another.

These studies have reinforced his belief in the importance of intervening during pregnancy and in early childhood and constitute, in his opinion, the best research design for advancing our knowledge of the biopsychosocial mechanisms that lead to problems of chronic aggression and for identifying the most effective preventive interventions.