Professor Harriet MacMillan, CM, MD, MSc, FRCPC

harriet macmillan

Harriet MacMillan is a psychiatrist and pediatrician conducting family violence research.  She is a member of the Offord Centre for Child Studies, a Distinguished University Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, and of Pediatrics at McMaster University with associate membership in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact.  She holds the Chedoke Health Chair in Child Psychiatry. 

Harriet’s research focuses on the epidemiology of violence against children and women; she has led randomized controlled trials evaluating interventions to reduce child maltreatment and intimate partner violence and associated mental health impairment.  Funding for this work has been provided by organizations such as the WT Grant Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).  From 2009 to 2019, Harriet was co-principal investigator of the Centre for Research Development in Gender, Mental Health and Violence across the Lifespan (PreVAiL) funded by CIHR and PHAC.  PreVAiL involved an international Network made up of researchers in the areas of mental health, gender and violence, and of partner organizations with service, research and policy mandates in these areas.  Through PreVAiL, Harriet worked closely with organizations such as PHAC and the World Health Organization (WHO).  Examples of her work with WHO include co-chairing the Guideline Development Group (GDG) for the WHO Clinical Guidelines on Responding to Children and Adolescents who have been Sexually Abused, and the GDG for the WHO Clinical Guidelines on the Health Sector Response to Child Maltreatment.

From 1993 to 2004, Harriet was the founding Director of the Child Advocacy and Assessment Program (CAAP) at McMaster Children’s Hospital, a multidisciplinary team committed to reducing the burden of suffering associated with family violence.  She continues to see patients as an active staff member of CAAP and provides consultations to child protection agencies.

Harriet was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in 2016.

  1. Jack SM, Boyle MH, McKee C, Ford-Gilboe M, Wathen CN, Scribano P, Davidov D, McNaughton D, O’Brien R, Johnston C, Gasbarro M, Tanaka M, Kimber M, Coben J, Olds DL, MacMillan HL.  Effect of addition of an intimate partner violence intervention to a nurse home visitation program on maternal quality of life: a randomized clinical trial.  JAMA 2019;321(16):1576-85.
  2. McTavish JR, Kimber M, Devries K, Colombini M, MacGregor JCD, Wathen N, MacMillan HL.  Children’s and caregivers’ perspectives about mandatory reporting of child maltreatment: a meta-synthesis of qualitative studies. BMJ Open 2019;9(4):e025741.
  3. McTavish JR, Kimber M, Devries K, Columbini M, MacGregor JCD, Wathen CN, Agarwal A, MacMillan HL. Mandated reporters’ experiences with reporting child maltreatment: a meta-synthesis of qualitative studies.  BMJ Open 2017;7(10):e013942.
  4. Mikton CR, Tanaka M, Tomlinson M, Steiner DL, Tonmyr L, Lee BX, Fisher J, Hegadoren K, Evans Pim J, Wang SS, MacMillan HL. Global research priorities for interpersonal violence prevention: A modified Delphi study. Bull World Health Organ 2017;95(1):36-48.
  5. Afifi TO, MacMillan HL, Taillieu T, Cheung C, Turner S, Tonmyr L, Hovdestad WD. Relationship between child abuse exposure and reported contact with child protection organizations: Results from the Canadian Community Health Survey. Child Abuse Negl 2015;46:198-206.
  6. MacMillan HL, Wathen CN. Children's exposure to intimate partner violence. Child and Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am 2014;23(2):295-308.
  7. MacMillan HL, Wathen CN, Varcoe CM. Intimate partner violence in the family: considerations for children’s safety. Child Abuse Negl 2013;37(12):1186-91.
  8. MacMillan HL, Tanaka M, Vaillancourt T, Duku E, Boyle MH. Child physical and sexual abuse in a community sample of young adults: Results from the Ontario Child Health Study.  Child Abuse Negl 2013; 37(1):14-21.
  9. Hibbard R, Barlow J, MacMillan HL and the Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Clinical Report: Psychological maltreatment. Pediatrics 2012;130(2):372-8.
  10. Tanaka M, Wekerle C, Leung E, Waechter R, Gonzalez A, Jamieson E, MacMillan HL. Preliminary evaluation of the Childhood Experiences of Violence Questionnaire short form. J Interpers Violence 2012;27(2):396-407.
  11. MacMillan HL, Wathen CN, Jamieson E, Boyle MH, Shannon HS, Ford-Gilboe M, Worster A, Lent B, Coben JH, Campbell JC, McNutt LA; McMaster Violence Against Women Research Group. Screening for intimate partner violence in health care settings: a randomized trial. JAMA 2009;302(5):493-501.
  12. MacMillan HL, Georgiades K, Duku E, Shea A, Steiner M, Niec A, Tanaka M, Gensey S, Spree S, Vella E, Walsh CA, De Bellis MD, Van der Meulen J, Boyle M, Schmidt, LA. Cortisol response to stress in female youths exposed to childhood maltreatment: Results of the Youth Mood Project. Biol Psychiatry 2009;66(1):62-8.
  13. MacMillan HL, Wathen CN, Barlow J, Fergusson DM, Leventhal JM, Taussig HN. Interventions to prevent child maltreatment and associated impairment. Lancet 2009;373(9659):250-66.
  14. MacMillan HL, Jamieson E, Wathen CN, Boyle M, Walsh C, Omura J, Walker J, Lodenquai G. Development of a policy-relevant child maltreatment research strategy. Milbank Q 2007;85(2):337-74.
  15. MacMillan HL, Wathen CN, Jamieson E, Boyle M, McNutt L-A, Worster A, Lent B, Webb M for the McMaster Violence Against Women Group. Approaches to screening for intimate partner violence in health care settings: a randomized trial. JAMA 2006;296(5):530-6.
  16. MacMillan HL, Fleming JE, Streiner DL, Lin E, Boyle MH, Jamieson E, Duku EK, Walsh CA, Wong MY-Y, Beardslee WR. Childhood abuse and lifetime psychopathology in a community sample.  Am J Psychiatry 2001;158(11):1878-83.