Dr. Shelly Birnie-Lefcovitch

Dr. Shelly Birnie-LefcovitchAssociate Professor

Cross-appointment to the Counselling Centre

School of Social Work
St. John's College, J - 4012
Memorial University
St. John’s, NL A1C 5S7
Email: slefcovi@mun.ca

Dr. Shelly Birnie-Lefcovitch completed a PhD (with distinction) at Wilfrid Laurier University in 1997, having previously earned an MSW at McGill University in 1971 and a BA at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia) in 1969. He joined the Memorial faculty in 1998. Prior to that, he was the founding Co-Director of the Office of First Year Studies at the University of Guelph. He also served as Director of the School of Social Work at MUN from 2002 to 2009.

Dr. Birnie-Lefcovitch’s area of scholarly interest is in community mental health as it pertains to primary prevention with a focus on informal social support. He is particularly interested in strategies that promote successful adaptation during normative life transitions.

Currently, Dr. Birnie-Lefcovitch is part of a national team of researchers who have conducted two SSHRC-funded studies investigating student adjustment during the transition from high school to university. He also is principal investigator of another SSHRC-funded study examining rural-urban differences in the transition to university. These studies have been carried out in collaboration with colleagues in the Counselling Centre at MUN.

Dr. Birnie-Lefcovitch has taught in the BSW, MSW and PhD programs, supervised graduate student research, and served as a thesis examiner for students in Social Work and other graduate disciplines at MUN.

Recent Publications:

  • Ames, M., Pratt, M., Pancer, M., Wintre, M., Polivy, J., Birnie-Lefcovitch, S., & Adams, G. (2011). The moderating effects of attachment style on students' experience of a transition to university group intervention program. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 43(1), 1-12. (R)
  • Busseri, M., Rose-Krasnor, S., Pancer, M., Adams, G., Birnie-Lefcovitch, S., Polivy, J., Pratt, M.., Wintre, M. (2011). A longitudinal study of breadth and intensity of activity involvement and the transition to university. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21(2), 512-518. (R)
  • Tieu, T-T., Pancer, M., Pratt, M., Wintre, M., Birnie-Lefcovitch, S., Polivy, J., & Adams, G. (2010). Helping out or hanging out: the features of involvement and how it relates to university adjustment. Higher Education, 60(3), 343-355. (R)
  • Wintre, M., Gates, S., Pancer, M., Pratt, M., Polivy, J., Birnie-Lefcovitch, S., & Adams, G. (2009). The student perception of university support and structure scale: Development and validation. Journal of Youth Studies, 12(3), 289-306. (R)
  • Provencher, V., Polivy, J., Wintre, M., Pratt, M., Pancer, M., Birnie-Lefcovitch, S., Adams, G. (2009). Who gains or who loses weight? Psychosocial factors among first-year university students. Physiology and Behavior, 96, 135-141. (R)
  • Wintre, M., Knoll, G., Pancer, M., Pratt, M., Polivy, J., Birnie-Lefcovitch, S., & Adams, G. (2008). The transition to university: The student-university match (SUM) questionnaire. Journal of Adolescent Research, 23(6), 745-769. (R)
  • Buote, V., Pancer, M., Pratt, M., Adams, G., Birnie-Lefcovitch, S., Polivy, J., & Wintre, M. (2007). The importance of friends: Friendship and adjustment among 1st-year university students. Journal of Adolescent Research, 22(6), 665-689. (R)
  • Armstrong, M., Birnie-Lefcovitch, S., Ungar, M. & Friesen, B. (2005). Pathways between social support, family well being, quality of parenting, and child resilience: What we know. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 14(2), 269-281. (R)



School of Social Work

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000