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School of Arts and Sciences

Sharna Olfman, Ph.D.

Professor, Psychology

Pictured is Sharna Olfman, Ph.D., professor of psychology.
Contact information

Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Psychology, McGill University
  • Master of Arts, Psychology, Concordia University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Psychology, Concordia University

Courses Taught

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Adult Development
  • Child Development
  • Adolescent Development
  • Counseling Practicum
  • Counseling Theories
  • Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Childhood
  • General Psychology
  • Psychology of Parenthood and Parenting
  • Psychology of Women
  • Social Psychology
  • Theories of Personality

Background

Sharna Olfman, Ph.D. is a professor of developmental psychology, a psychologist in private practice and the editor of the Childhood In America book series for Praeger Publishers. Her books include Drugging Our Children: How Profiteers are Pushing Antipsychotics on Our Youngest and What We Can Do to Stop It (with Brent Dean Robbins, Ph.D., 2012), The Sexualization of Childhood (2008), Bipolar Children (2007), No Child Left Different (2006), Child Honoring (with Raffi Cavoukian, 2006), Childhood Lost (2005), and All Work and No Play (2003).

Olfman has written and lectured widely on the subjects of children's mental health and parenting. From 2001 to 2008, Olfman was the founder and director of Childhood and Society, an interdisciplinary, international symposium on a range of childhood issues.  She has given several invited addresses, most recently in Seoul, Korea and Sydney, Australia.  Olfman is a member of the Council of Human Development and a partner in the Alliance for Childhood.

Published Books

  • Drugging Our Children: How Profiteers are Pushing Antipsychotics on Our Youngest and What We Can Do to Stop It with Brent Dean Robbins, Ph.D. (2012)
  • The Sexualization of Childhood (2008)
  • Bipolar Children (2007)
  • No Child Left Different (2006)
  • Child Honoring with Raffi Cavoukian (2006)
  • Childhood Lost (2005)
  • All Work and No Play (2003)

Selected Scholarly Presentations and Publications

  • "Drugging our Children: How Profiteers are Pushing Antipsychotics on our Youngest, and What We Can Do to Stop It," co-presented at Annual Conference of the Society for Humanistic Psychology, Point Park University, Pittsburgh, Pa., 2012.
  • "Cultural Construction of Asperger's and Tourette's Syndrome," co-chair, American Psychological Association Convention, San Francisco, Calif., Aug. 2001.
  • "Asperger's disorder in cultural context," American Psychological Association Convention, San Francisco, Calif., Aug. 2001.
  • "Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: An American construct," American Psychological Association Convention, Washington, D.C., Aug. 2000.
  • "The A.D.D. epidemic: Its cause and cure," Finkelhor Lecture, Point Park University, Pittsburgh, Pa., April 1999.
  • "Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A women's issue," 24th Annual Association for Women in Psychology Conference, Providence, R.I., March 1999.

Research Interests

  • Children's mental health
  • The overuse and abuse of psychiatric medication with children
  • Cultural influences on children’s development

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Postdoctoral fellowship, C.M. Hincks Treatment Centre, Toronto, 1988-89
  • Doctoral fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 1981-85
  • Professor J.P. Zweig Award for thesis research, Concordia University, 1985

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