Dr. PhyllisZelkowitz, EdD
Associate Professor

Clinical psychology
Developmental psychology

Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital
4333 Cote Ste-Catherine Road
H3T 1E4
514-340-8222 ext. 5258


Dr. Zelkowitz is Research Director in the Department of Psychiatry at the Jewish General Hospital, a senior investigator and psychosocial axis head at the Lady Davis Institute, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. She serves as Associate Chair of the Jewish General Hospital Research Ethics Committee. She was formerly the staff psychologist in the Child Psychiatry Day Hospital program of the Jewish General Hospital. Her research program investigates children and families at risk, incorporating individual, contextual, and cultural factors. For example, her research on parental adjustment to the birth of a very low birthweight (VLBW) infant examined individual characteristics of the parents (such as anxiety and feelings of competence), contextual variables (such as social support and the marital relationship), and cultural factors related to parenting attitudes and behaviour. She has also studied postpartum depression in native-born and immigrant women and risk factors for borderline pathology in mothers and children. Recently, along with Dr. Nancy Feeley of the Centre for Nursing Research at the Jewish General Hospital, Dr. Zelkowitz developed an intervention program to reduce anxiety and enhance the parenting skills of mothers of VLBW infants. The program is currently being evaluated in a CIHR-funded clinical trial. Dr. Zelkowitz is the recipient of a CIHR Emerging Team Grant in Perinatal Mental Health. This five-year grant funds the development of a prospective research program that combines multiple methods in the study of perinatal mental illness, linking adverse life circumstances and hormonal and biological risk factors to maternal mental health problems, which in turn may affect the mother-infant relationship. This research program also investigates health services needs and utilization patterns among women from diverse sociocultural backgrounds.

Undergraduate: BA (Honours), Psychology, McGill University
Graduate: Masterís, Educational Psychology, University of Toronto

Doctorate: Human Development, Harvard University

Ordre des psychologue du Quebec
American Psychological Association

Society for Research in Child Development

Zelkowitz P, Papageorgiou A, Bardin C, Wang T. Persistent maternal anxiety affects the interaction between mothers and their very low birthweight infants at 24 months. Early Human Development. 2009;85,51-58.

Feeley N, Zelkowitz P, Charbonneau L, Cormier C, Lacroix A, Ste Marie C, Papageorgiou A. Promoting mothersí ability to interact sensitively with their very-low birthweight infant: a pilot study. Advances in Neonatal Care. 2008;8:276-284.

Zelkowitz P, Feeley N, Shrier I, Stremler R, Westreich R, Dunkley D, Steele R, Rosberger Z, Lefebvre F, Papageorgiou A. The Cues and Care Trial: a randomized controlled trial of an intervention to reduce maternal anxiety and improve developmental outcomes in very low birthweight infants. BMC Pediatr. 2008 Sep 26;8:38.

Zelkowitz P, Saucier J-F, Wang T, Katofsky L, Valenzuela M, Westreich R. Stability and change in depressive symptoms from pregnancy to two months postpartum in childbearing immigrant women. Archives of Womenís Mental Health. 2008;11:1-11.

Zelkowitz P, Milet TH. The course of postpartum psychiatric disorders in women and their partners. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 2001;189:575-582.

Zelkowitz P, Paris J, Guzder J, Feldman R, Roy C, Rosval L. A five-year follow-up of patients with borderline pathology of childhood. Journal of Personality Disorders. 2007;21:664-674.

Zelkowitz P, Bardin C, Papageorgiou A. Anxiety affects the relationship between parents and their very low birthweight infants. Infant Mental Health Journal. 2007;28:296-313.

Zelkowitz P, Papageorgiou A. Maternal anxiety: an emerging prognostic factor in neonatology. Acta Paediatrica. 2005;94:1704-1705.

Zelkowitz P, Schinazi J, Katofsky L, Saucier J-F, Valenzuela M, Westreich R, Dayan J. Factors associated with depression in pregnant immigrant women. Transcultural Psychiatry. 2004;41:445-464.

Zelkowitz P, Paris J, Guzder J, Feldman R. Diatheses and stressors in borderline pathology of childhood: the role of neuropsychological risk and trauma. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2001;40:100-105.