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Psychology student named one of Canada’s top research storytellers

Posted on 2017-04-18 in Politics & Society

Kathrina Mazurik explains her research in a video for the U of S Images of Research competition

A University of Saskatchewan (U of S) psychology student researching the experiences of young Canadians living at home has been named one of the top 25 finalists in the 2017 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Storytellers competition.

PhD student Kathrina Mazurik created a three-minute video pitch on her research for the national competition, which aims to demonstrate how SSHRC-funded research makes a difference in the lives of Canadians. She has been awarded $3,000 as a finalist.

“I love the idea of making research more accessible to the public and I try to get people curious about social and cultural issues,” she said. “It’s important that institutions are rewarding researchers’ efforts to do so. The SSHRC Storytellers and the U of S Images of Research competitions are great!”

Mazurik studies how the “crowded-nest syndrome,” the increasingly common tendency of young adults to live at home into adulthood, affects young Canadians and their relationship with their parents.

“I want to study this topic because there is no research out there and people make judgements about it without knowing what these families look like,” she said.

“Once I was watching the news and got irritated at how young adults who live with their parents are represented as eternal irresponsible ‘Peter Pans’,” she said. “It is more complicated than that.”

Mazurik said she knows the situation first hand, as she lived at home until she was 24. Statistics Canada reports that more than 40 per cent of young Canadians—so-called millennials—live at home, taking about five years longer to achieve the same life milestones their parents hit in their respective mid-20s.

In in-depth interviews, she is asking young people how their relationships with their parents are changing as they move into adulthood. For example, she asks questions that range from how housework is distributed and how parents and child address the issue of romantic partners overnighting.

Her preliminary results suggest that there is no one-size-fits-all kind of relationship. Young adults described their parents sometimes as being roommates, sometimes having a support role, and sometimes as not interacting at all.

As a finalist, Mazurik will attend the May 29 Storytellers Showcase at the 2017 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Ryerson University, where a panel of expert judges will select the final five Storytellers winners. The overall winners will be awarded an all-expense-paid trip to the 2017 SSHRC Impact Awards ceremony in Ottawa to present before a VIP audience with a live webcast to the world.

Watch Mazurik’s three-minute SSHRC competition entry, The Experiences of Canadian Young Adults Living at Home on the Usask YouTube channel

Watch Mazurik’s one-minute video for the U of S Images of Research competition here.

Last year, U of S master’s student Kelly Mills was a finalist in the competition. See here.


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