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Rhonda Martinussen
Associate Professor

email: rhonda.martinussen@utoronto.ca  
website: http://learningengagementattention.weebly.com/

Department: Applied Psychology and Human Development



Research Overview

Dr. Martinussen's research reflects three major areas of interest:

1) The nature of the overlap between ADHD symptoms, particularly inattentive behaviour, and learning and achievement problems particularly in the domain of reading..

2) The components of effective instruction for teacher preparation in elementary language arts and the role of digital learning tools in teacher preparation.

3) The contexts and approaches that promote knowledge mobilization in educational settings.


Dr. Martinussen and Dr. Dale Willows recently completed a SSHRC Insight Development Grant to support their early research examining the role of multimedia tools in teacher preparation in the area of literacy. They examined preservice teachers' understanding of literacy terms and practices as well as the role of virtual classroom tours and interactive multimedia modules in the development of teacher candidates' understanding of how to effectively teacher reading and writing to elementary school children. Dr. Dale Willows developed the idea of virtual tours in classrooms and they can be found on the Balanced Literacy Diet website (www.litdiet.org). .

Dr. Martinussen received a new SSHRC Insight Grant in the spring of 2016 which focuses on the relations among behavioral inattention, student engagement, and motivation/affective factors. She also has included measures of executive functions in the longitudinal study to be able to also examine how cognitive and motivational factors influence academic achievement and engagement in the beginning stages of formal schooling (grade 1 to 2).
This grant is held with two co-investigators: Dr. Andre Plamondon and Dr. Frederick Guay at Laval University.

Dr. Martinussen also holds a 3-year Research Contract with the Ontario Ministry of Education (beginning in January, 2017) to complete research related to the Learning Disabilities project. She has invited Dr. Todd Cunningham, Dr. Anne-Claude Bedard, and Dr. Angela Pyle to collaborate on this project given their areas of expertise.


Academic History

I completed my Master of Education degree at Queen's University. My doctoral degree was completed at the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto (2005).

Teaching Overview

I often teach HDP2280 which is a graduate course entitled "Introduction to Special Education and Adaptive Instruction".

I sometimes teach the Language Arts portion of APD2200 Introduction to Curriculum I course in the Master of Arts in Child Study and Education program.

I sometimes teach courses related to executive functions or ADHD at the graduate level.

Representative Publications

Aitken, M., Martinussen, R., & Tannock, R. (2017). Incremental validity of teacher and parent symptom and impairment ratings when screening for mental health difficulties. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 45(4), 827-837.

Tannock, R., Frijters, J. C., Martinussen, R., White, E. J., Ickowicz, A., Benson, N. J., & Lovett, M. W. (2016). Combined Modality Intervention for ADHD With Comorbid Reading Disorders: A Proof of Concept Study. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 0022219416678409.

Aitken, M., Martinussen, R., Childs, R., & Tannock, R. (2016). Profiles of co-occurring difficulties identified through school-based screening. Journal of Attention Disorders, 1087054716684377.

Aitken, M., Martinussen, R., Wolfe, R. G., & Tannock, R. (2015). Factor structure of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire in a Canadian elementary school sample. Assessment for effective intervention40(3), 155-165.

Plamondon, A., & Martinussen, R. (2015). Inattention symptoms are associated with academic achievement mostly through variance shared with intrinsic motivation and behavioral engagement. Journal of Attention Disorders, 1-13. DOI: 10.1177/1087054715587098

Batho, L., & Martinussen, R. (2015). The effects of different types of environmental noise on academic performance and perceived task difficulty in adolescents with ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders.doi: 10.1177/1087054715594421

 Martinussen, R., Ferrari, J., Aitken, M., & Willows, D. (2015). Preservice teachers’ knowledge of phonemic awareness: Relationship to perceived knowledge, self-efficacy, and exposure to a multimedia-enhanced lecture. Annals of Dyslexia, 1-17

Gray, S., Rogers, M., Martinussen, R., & Tannock, R. (2015). Longitudinal relations among inattention, working memory, and academic achievement: Testing mediation and the moderating role of gender. Peerj 3:e939 https://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.939

Martinussen, R., & Mackenzie, G. (2015). Reading comprehension in adolescents with ADHD: Exploring the poor comprehender profile and individual differences in vocabulary and executive function. Research in Developmental Disabilities38, 329-337.

Aitken, M., Martinussen, R., Wolfe, R., & Tannock, R. (2014). Factor structure of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire in a Canadian elementary school sample. Assessment for Effective Instruction, 1-11.

Research Grants and Contracts

SSHRC ----------------- Insight Grant from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Project Title:------------ Early Inattention Behaviours, Executive Functions, and Student Engagement: Testing Pathways in the Early Elementary Grades and the Moderating Influence of the Classroom Context
Principal Investigator:--Dr. Rhonda Martinussen
Co-Investigators: -------Dr. Andre Plamondon and Dr. Frederick Guay (Laval University)
Date Received:----------April, 2016