University of Calgary

Carly McMorris

  • Assistant Professor


Dr. Carly McMorris has a PhD in Clinical-Developmental Psychology from York University (Toronto, Ontario). She completed her clinical internship at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids; Toronto, Ontario), and is a registered provisional psychologist in Alberta. In the fall of 2015, she moved to Calgary and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Paediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary and the Owerko Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Dr. McMorris joined the Werklund School of Education in 2016 as an Assistant Professor in the School and Applied Child Psychology program.

Research & Scholarly Activity

Dr. McMorris’ program of research focuses on how to improve the health and well-being of children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD), such as autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, and cerebral palsy. She is particularly interested in identifying potential early risk factors for a diagnosis of a NDD, as well as the development of co-occurring mental disorders in this population. Additionally, she examines the prevalence of co-occurring mental and physical health issues in NDDs, how these issues may impact children and families, and may lead to crisis and/or emergency room visits. Lastly, she investigates service use patterns and needs, and barriers/facilitators to accessing services for families of individuals with NDDs.


PhD: Clinical-Developmental Psychology (2015)
York University

Masters of Arts: Clinical-Developmental Psychology (2009)
York University

Bachelor of Arts (Hons): Psychology (2006)
University of Calgary

Professional & Community Affiliations

Given Dr. McMorris’ broad research and clinical interests, she has affiliations with a variety of professional and community organizations related to child psychology, typical and atypical development, autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

  • College of Alberta Psychologists, Provisionally Registered Psychologist
  • O’Brien Institute for Public Health, Member
  • Owerko Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Full Member
  • Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI), Full Member
  • Mathison Centre for Mental Health, Research and Educatiion, University of Calgary, Associate Member
  • Mental Health Neuroteam, University of Calgary, Member
  • International Society for Autism Research, Member
  • Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), Member

Selected Publications

Balogh, R. S., McMorris, C. A., Ouellette-Kuntz, H., Bourne, L., Lunsky, Y., & Colantonio, A. (2016). Organising health care services for persons with an Intellectual Disability (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. (IF: 5.79)

Nicholas, D. B., Zwaigenbaum, L., Ing, S., MacCulloch, R., Roberts, W., McKeever, P., & McMorris, C. A. (2016). “Live it to understand it”: The experiences of mothers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Qualitative Health Research. (IF: 2.18)

Ames, M. E., McMorris, C. A., Alli, L., & Bebko, J. M. (2015). Overview and evaluation of a mentorship program for university students with Asperger and ASD. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 31, 27-36 (IF: 1.27)

Bebko, J. M., Rhee, T., McMorris, C. A., & Ncube, B. L. (2015). Spontaneous strategy use in children with autism spectrum disorder: The roles of metamemory and language skills. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, 1-10. (IF: 2.6)

Modi, M., McMorris, C. A., Palucka, A., Raina, P., & Lunsky, Y. (2015). Predictors of specialized inpatient admissions for adults with intellectual disabilities. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 120(1), 46-57. (IF: 2.1)


  • 2017-2021 Eyes High Doctoral Recruitment Scholarship (PhD Student: Jessica Baraskewich)
  • 2015-2018 Alberta Health Innovates Solutions (AIHS) Postgraduate Fellowship
  • 2012 Canadian Departments of Psychology (CCDP) – Certificate of Teaching Excellence Award
  • 2011-2012 Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)
  • 2010-2011 Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)
  • 2009-2010 Ontario College of Graduate Students (OCGS) – Autism Scholar Doctoral Award
  • 2007-2008 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) – Canadian Graduate Scholarship (CGS)

Current Projects

2018-2021 Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS)
Developmental Services Research Grant Fund
Principal Investigator: Dr. Robert Balogh, Ph.D.
Role in Project: Co-Investigator
Title of Project: Key Elements of Successful Housing for Individuals
with Development Disabilities and Exceptional Behavioural Needs: Useful
Space Designs and Supportive Residential Models

2017-2018 University of Calgary – Cumming School of Medicine
Calgary Centre for Clinical Research (CCCR)
Principle Investigator: Dr. Kathleen Chaput, Ph.D
Role in Project: Co-Investigator
Title of Project: Antenatal Telephone Psychotherapy Intervention for the Treatment and Prevention of Postpartum Depression: Planning Grant

2017-2018 Alberta Health Services
Pathways to Innovation and Integration in Addiction and Mental Health
Principle Investigator: Dr. Kathleen Chaput, Ph.D
Role in Project: Co-Investigator
Title of Project: Developing a Novel Parenting Program for Children of Parents with Addiction

2017-2018 Alberta Health Services
Addiction and Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network Clinical
Clinical Connection Grant 2017
Principle Investigator: Dr. Catherine Lebel, PhD.
Role in Project: Co-Investigator
Title of Project: Developmental, Mental Health and Brain Profiles of Children with Multiple Early Risks

2016-2018 University of Calgary
Werklund School of Education
Research Collaboration Grant
Principle Investigator: Dr. Carly McMorris
Co-Investigators: Drs. Gabrielle Wilcox and David Nordstokke Title of Project: Complex students: Understanding how to best support students with Mental health issues and a comorbid developmental or physical health need

2016-2018 Department of Pediatrics, University of Calgary
2015 Pediatric Innovative Award
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Deborah Dewey, PhD & Dr. Jeff Buchhalter, MD
Role in Project: Co-Investigator
Title of Project: Autism Spectrum Disorder and Epilepsy: Outcomes of Children and Families in the Autism Epilepsy Clinic

Photograph of Carly McMorris
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