null Marilyn Ahun, PhD

Junior Scientist, RI-MUHC, 5252 de Maisonneuve site

Child Health and Human Development Program

Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation



early child development • parental mental health • global health • parenting interventions

Research Focus

My research focuses on the mechanisms through which parental mental health and parenting behaviours influence child development and mental health in global contexts. Using quantitative and qualitative research methods, I examine the mediators and moderators of the association between parental depression and child outcomes in both high-income and low- and middle-income countries, exploring the extent to which these associations vary – or do not – across different sociocultural contexts. I am currently leading a study in Ghana on the associations of maternal and paternal mental health with children's development and mental health and am working towards developing a multi-component parenting and mental health promotion intervention to promote parent and child outcomes. I also contribute to the design and evaluation of parenting interventions to promote early child development across West and East Africa.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • Ahun MN, Psychogiou L, Guay F, Boivin M, Tremblay RE, Côté SM. Maternal depressive symptoms and children's academic performance: sex differences in the mediating role of school experiences. Psychol Med. 2022 Oct;52(13):2450-2459. doi: 10.1017/S0033291720004298. Epub 2020 Dec 4. PMID: 33272330.

  • Ahun, M. N., Jeong, J., Kieffer, M. P., Mwanyika-Sando, M., & Yousafzai, A. K. (2021). Maternal and paternal perspectives on parenting stress in rural Tanzania: A qualitative study. SSM-Mental Health, 1, 100030.

  • Orri M, Besharati S, Ahun MN, Richter LM. Analysis of Maternal Postnatal Depression, Socioeconomic Factors, and Offspring Internalizing Symptoms in a Longitudinal Cohort in South Africa. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Aug 2;4(8):e2121667. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.21667. PMID: 34410394.

  • Ahun MN, Ali N, Hentschel E, Jeong J, Franchett E, Yousafzai AK. A meta-analytic review of the implementation characteristics in parenting interventions to promote early child development. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Forthcoming.

  • Ahun MN, Aboud F, Wamboldt C, Yousafzai AK. Implementation of UNICEF and WHO's care for child development package: Lessons from a global review and key informant interviews. Front Public Health. 2023;11:1140843. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1140843. eCollection 2023. PMID: 36875409.