Dr. Breanna Lawrence

Breanna Lawrence, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at Brandon University, and a counsellor educator. Her program of research centers on exploring intersections of mental health, career, and learning, drawing on ecological resilience and relational developmental systems frameworks. Dr. Lawrence’s research interests have largely been shaped by her professional background working in educational and clinical mental health settings as a Certified Canadian Counsellor. An emerging scholar in the field of mixed methods research, Dr. Lawrence has a both a strong quantitative and qualitative academic research background. During her PhD, she was granted access to use the Statistics Canada Research Data Centre to analyze secondary survey data. Using a mixed methods research design, she firstly analyzed a complex longitudinal data set and then secondly conducted an in-depth qualitative case study that produced theoretical propositions and detailed family stories based on the initial statistical findings. Dr. Lawrence won two awards in 2018 for excellence in doctoral research (The David Bateson New Scholar Award from the Canadian Educational Researchers’ Association and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Associations’ Counsellor Educations’ Award for Doctoral Dissemination). Recently, at Brandon University, she is the Principal Investigator on a 2019 Research Manitoba New Investigators Operating grant for her project entitled “Exploring Multi-Level Influences to Diverse Learners and New Conceptualizations of Family-School Collaborations.” Dr. Lawrence is a Co-Investigator on a SSHRC Insight Development Grant with Dr. Alysha Farrell, which hones her skills to bring together innovative drama-based and qualitative methods focused on engaging rural youth on the topic of substance use. She is also a Collaborator on a SSHRC Partnership Grant through Ryerson University with Dr. Katheryn Underwood, regularly conducting family interviews using Institutional Ethnography to understand views of families of children from rural areas who access developmental services.

Dr. Lawrence is particularly interested in risky and rewarding ways of blending research paradigms, she is an emerging scholar and proficient researcher with experiences employing a multitude of methods and collaborating with a wide range of interdisciplinary researchers.


Courses Taught 

04. 253 Inclusive Education and Child Exceptionalities

04. 254 Inclusive Education and Adolescent Exceptionalities

04. 256  Adolescent Development and Learning Processes

04. 255 Child Development and Learning Processes

04.733 Theory and Practice of Group Process and Counselling

04. 709 Theories of Counselling and Psychotherapy

04. 776 Social Ecological Resilience

Articles Published in Refereed Journals

Lawrence, B. C., Harrison, G. L., & Milford, T. M. (2019). Effects of positive parenting on mental health in adolescents with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal 17(2), 215-236.

Lawrence, B. C., & Marshall, E. A. (2018). Young adults’ unintended and unpredicted work-life pathways in a small coastal community. Canadian Journal of Career Counselling, 17(1), 28-40.

Marshall, E. A., Roche, T., Lawrence, B., & Coverdale, J. (2013). The science and art of Community engaged research: A mixed methods study. International Journal of Arts and Science, 6(3), 99-110.

Book Chapters

Milford, T. M., Lawrence, B. C., Beamish, W., Meadows, D., & Davies, M. (in press) A strategy for building post-school transitions. In E. A. Marshall & J. E. Symonds (Eds.), Young adult development at the School-to-Work Transition: International Pathways and Processes. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Marshall, E. A., Stewart, S. L., Popadiuk, N. E., & Lawrence, B. C. (2013). Walking in multiple worlds: Successful school-to-work transitions for Indigenous and cultural minority youth. In G. Tchibozo (Ed.). Cultural and Social Diversity and the Transition from Education to Work (pp. 185-202). Springer Science +Business Media Dordrecht.

Marshall, A., Guenette, F., Ward, T., Morley, T., Lawrence, B., & and Fisher, K. (2011). Adolescents’ science career aspirations explored through identity and possible selves. In L. Yore, E. Van der Flier-Keller, D. Blades, T. Pelton, & D. Zandfliet (Eds.) Pacific CRYSTAL Centre for Science, Mathematics and Technology Literacy: Lessons Learned. (pp. 47-66). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers

Recent Scholarly Presentations

Lawrence, B. C., & Hudson Breen, R. E. (2019, Oct). Career resilience for NEET emerging adults: Hope to promote transitions into decent work. In E. A. Marshall (Chair), educational and work transitions for vulnerable emerging adults: Challenges, research findings, and strategies for support. Symposium conducted at the 9th Conference on Emerging Adulthood. Toronto, Canada.

Hudson Breen, R. E., & Lawrence, B. C. (2019, May). Career matters: Exploring social justice in career-life counselling across the lifespan. Interactive at the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association conference. Moncton, New Brunswick.

Lawrence, B. C. (2019, April). From secondary data to case studies: A mixed methods study of youth with learning disabilities. Paper (roundtable) at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting. Toronto, Canada.

Lawrence, B. C. (2018, Oct). Co-occurrence of mental health concerns and learning disabilities: Implications for counselling youth and families. In. E. A. Marshall (Chair), Counselling vulnerable youth and young adults. Clinical practice, research, and advocacy for indigenous, learning disabled, and developmentally disabled populations. Symposium conducted at the meeting of the 2018 Canadian Counselling Psychology Conference, Calgary, Canada.

Lawrence, B. C., Harrison, G. L., & Milford, T. M. (2018, July). Familial levels of influence for youth with LD and anxiety: Comparing monitoring, nurturing, and rejecting parenting behaviors. Poster presentation at International Association for Research in Learning Disabilities (IARLD), Ghent, Belgium.