News Releases

February 03, 2016

NBCC researchers receive major grant to research girls’ self-esteem

FREDERICTON – Public shaming and issues around body image have long been part of the rite of passage for teenage girls but today’s technology only further amplifies the impacts. Research has shown this can have a negative impact on girls’ social behaviour during their formative years. With the help of a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), researchers at New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) will be embarking on a project that seeks to reverse that trend.

  • Research team: project director Stephanie Ruckstuhl (NBCC), researchers Carla Dwyer (NBCC) and Dr. Chris Gilham (St. Francis Xavier University)
  • Title: The contribution of pro-social role-modelling and peer mentoring to the development of positive social skills in young females: a longitudinal study of early intervention strategies.
  • Goal: To uncover successful interventions that will increase self-esteem in girls that can be used by community agencies and organizations across New Brunswick.
  • Project duration: 3 years
  • Funding: $236,470
“The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council provides Colleges across Canada with the opportunity to address real challenges in the community,” said Marilyn Luscombe, CEO and President of NBCC. “With their support, our College will be engaging in truly meaningful research that can possibly transform the lives of young girls in our Province and beyond.”

As project director, Stephanie Ruckstuhl, who also teaches in the Practical Nursing program at NBCC St. Andrews Campus, is excited about the possibilities the research holds. “This is amazing – to know the voices of our young are being heard and that we have the opportunity to make change that will lead to empowered and stronger youth.” As part of the research, the team will work with community partners in the areas of education, mental health and community. The research project will be concentrated in Charlotte County.


With over 90 programs and six campuses across New Brunswick, New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) is a provincially-recognized, public post-secondary institution reputed for producing skilled, knowledgeable graduates who are contributing to the Province’s socio-economic prosperity. NBCC offers students one- and two-year certificate and diploma programs. Find out more by visiting:

Media contact:

Michelle Willcott
Marketing & Communications, NBCC
Phone: 506.453.8194 | 506.440.9105


About the funding
  • The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) is focused on finding innovative solutions to real-life problems, and putting new knowledge to work in communities and businesses across the country and around the world.
  • In 2014, the SSHRC established the Community and College Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) as a pilot initiative to connect the talent, facilities and capabilities of Canada’s colleges and polytechnics with the research needs of local community organizations.
  • On January 21, SSHRC announced nearly $6 million in funding through the CCSIF for 27 research projects taking place at 20 colleges and institutes across the country.
 About Applied Research at NBCC
  • NBCC’s Applied Research and Innovation Office supports the use of the College’s research expertise, equipment and facilities to help enhance the way we live, work and do business.
  • This is NBCC’s first successful SSHRC grant application since becoming SSHRC-eligible in 2014. The eligibility is an opportunity for NBCC to specifically increase the profile of our humanities and social sciences programs.
  • The funding potential with SSHRC aligns with two themes that drive Applied Research and Innovation at NBCC: Innovations in Teaching, Learning and Services for Students and Social Innovation.