Jackson Smith

Graduate Student

Headshot of Jackson Smith

B.A. Hons. (Wilfrid Laurier University, 2014)

M.A. (Wilfrid Laurier University, 2016)

M.A. (University of Waterloo, 2021)

Ph.D. (University of Waterloo, 2025 – Expected)

Email: jackson.smith@uwaterloo.ca

Jackson Smith is a doctoral research assistant for the Whole Family Lab. He is investigating how Complex Developmental Trauma (multiple and prolonged exposure to interpersonal violence in the context of caregiving relationships) and other Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) affect children and families over time and at multiple levels of analysis (e.g., individual symptomatology, relational and family functioning, economic costs). Jackson is also examining the structure of psychopathology among children and adolescents who have experienced complex developmental trauma as well as caregiver-focused and whole family therapeutic and systems interventions that promote healing and resilience in individuals and families. 

Jackson holds master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology (University of Waterloo, 2021) and Community Psychology (Wilfrid Laurier University, 2016). He is currently completing his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Waterloo under Dr. Browne’s supervision.

Since 2012, Jackson has worked to support health and mental health programs in various capacities, including designing and leading implementation and impact evaluations, community needs assessments, strategic planning and visioning workshops, and organizational- and system-level service mapping processes. Additionally, a substantial focus of Jackson’s academic and community-based research has been on intercultural collaboration and partnership building as well as human rights compliance assessments in North America and in Ghana. In this time, he has worked with diverse populations, including children and youth, young adults, adults, rural and urban Indigenous communities, people with lived experience of poverty and homelessness, and people with lived experience with severe mental illness and addiction. Jackson continues to work as an independent mental health and addiction research consultant for organizations across Canada.

Jackson aspires to use the Clinical Psychology training at the University of Waterloo and in the Whole Family Lab to pursue a joint career in academia and as a practicing clinical psychologist in both therapeutic and community consulting settings.

Journal Articles

  • Smith, J. A., Durham, D., Beatty, E., Price-Cameron, M., & Browne, D. T. (2021). Trajectories of psychosocial functioning and attachment behaviors among children adopted in the Ontario child welfare system. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 1-28. doi: 10.1080/15548732.2021.1881690
  • Smith, J. A., Basabose, J. D., Brockett, M., Browne, D. T., Shamon, S., & Stephenson, M. C. (2021). Family medicine with Refugee newcomers during the COVID-19 crisis. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 34 (Supplement), S210-S216. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2021.S1.200115
  • Browne, D. T., Smith, J. A., Basabose, J. D. (2021). Refugee children and families during the COVID-19 crisis: A resilience framework for mental health. Journal of Refugee Studies, Journal of Refugee Studies, feaa113. doi: 10.1093/jrs/feaa113
  • Browne, D. T., Norona, J., Crouch, S., Busch, A., Armstrong, K., Darrow, S., Ernst, T., Smith, J. A., & Ilhe, E. (2020). “Is it us or is it me?”: Family experiences of connectedness following a reflecting team intervention. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 1-22. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12468
  • Basabose, J. D., Smith, J. A., Stephenson, M. C., Brockett, M., & Browne, D. T. (2020). Promoting family well-being and resilience of refugee newcomers in Waterloo region: The Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre. Canadian Diversity, 17(2), 94-99.]
  • Smith, J. A., & Mitchell, T. L. (2020). Development of an UNDRIP compliance assessment tool: How a performance framework could improve state compliance. The International Indigenous Policy Journal11(2), 1-23. doi: 10.18584/iipj.2020.11.2.10713
  • Mitchell, T., Thomas, D., & Smith, J. A. (2018). Unsettling the settlers: Principles of a decolonial approach to creating safe(r) spaces in post-secondary education. American Journal of Community Psychology, 62(3-4), 350-363. doi: 10.10021a1cp.12287

Books and Book Chapters

  • Basabose, J. D., Smith, J. A., & Browne, D. T. (In press). Addressing ethical issues when working with refugees: Opportunities and challenges of a whole family approach. In M. Ali (Ed.), Ethical Issues in Research with Refugee Children and Youth. UBC Press.
  • Smith, J. A., Puckett, C., & Simon, W. (2016). Indigenous allyship: An overview. Waterloo and Brantford, ON: Office of Aboriginal Initiatives, Wilfrid Laurier University.


  • Smith, J. A. (2021). Measurement and Factor Structure of Developmental Trauma Disorder Symptoms in Children Involved in Child Welfare. Master’s Thesis. University of Waterloo. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/17191
  • Smith, J. A. (2016). Holding Canada Accountable: An Evaluation of Canada's Compliance to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Master’s Thesis. Wilfrid Laurier University. https://scholars.wlu.ca/etd/1875/

Selected Op-Eds

  • Colucci, L., Smith, J. A., & Browne, D. T. (March 17, 2020). Prioritizing one another during COVID-19: Proactive Family Strategies for the COVID-19 Emergency. Psychology Today.
  • Smith, J. A., & Browne, D. T. (July 17, 2019). Is your child addicted to screens? Here’s what you can do about it. The Conversation (online). Vancouver Sun (Print).
  • Smith, J. A., & Browne, D. T. (April 11, 2019). Do You Need a Doctorate to Be a Clinical Psychologist? Psychology Today.