Myriam Mongrain


Locations / Contact Info:

132 Behavioural Science - BSB
Keele Campus
Phone: 416 736 2100 Ext. 66193
Fax: 416 736-5814

Email address(es):

Web site(s):

Faculty & School/Dept.

Faculty of Health - Department of Psychology


Ph.D. - 1992
McGill University
Montreal, Quebec


Dr. Mongrain obtained her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from McGill University, and has pursued her research interests in personality vulnerability to depression since her arrival at York in 1993. She has integrated positive psychology interventions and compassion training as resilience boosting strategies for subjective well-being. As well, her lab is pursuing research interest within existential psychology, specifically on the topic of nihilism.

Selected Publications


1. Mongrain, M. (2023). Compassion, happiness and self-esteem. In Michalos, A. C. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research (2nd Edition). Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands. doi

2. Mongrain, M.& Shoikhedbrod, A. (2019). On the benefits of compassionate action: Who has the most to gain? In L. Galiana, L. and N. Sanso (Eds.) The Power of Compassion,Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge, New York. 

3. Mongrain, M. (2014). Compassion, happiness and self-esteem. In  Michalos, A. C. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands:  pp 1129-1133.

4. Mongrain, M. (2010). Dependency. In I. Weiner & E. Craighead (Eds.). Corsini’s Encyclopedia of Psychology, 4th Edition. John Wiley and Sons.

5. Zuroff, D. C., Santor, D. A., & Mongrain, M. (2005).  Dependency, self-criticism, and maladjustment.  In J. S. Auerbach, K. J. Levy, and C. E. Schaffer (Eds.), Relatedness, self-definition and mental representation: Essays in honor of Sidney J. Blatt. Brunner-Routledge: London.


1. Forsythe, J. & Mongrain, M. (2023). The existential nihilism scale (ENS): Theory, development, and psychometric evaluation. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment.

2. Mongrain, M., Keltner, D., & Kirby, J. (2021). Editorial: Expanding the Science of Compassion. Frontiers in Psychology.

3. Mongrain, M. & Shoikhedbrod, A. (2021. When depression breeds rejection rather than compassion: Disagreeableness, stigma, and lack of empathic concern among support providers. Frontiers in Psychology.

4. Chen, S. K. & Mongrain, M. (Sept. 2020). Awe and the interconnected self. Journal of Positive Psychology.

5Barnes, C., Mongrain, M. (2019).  A Three-Factor Model of Personality Predicts Differential Responses to Positive Psychology Interventions. Journal of Positive Psychology.

6. Mongrain, M., Barnes, C., Barnhart, R., & Zalan, L. B. (2018). Acts of Kindness Reduce Depression in Individuals Low on Agreeableness. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 4(3), 323.DOI: 10.1037/tps0000168

7.  Mongrain, M., Komeylian, Z., & Barnhart B. (2015, November). Happiness Versus Mindfulness Exercises for Individuals Vulnerable to Depression. The Journal of Positive Psychology.  doi=10.1080/17439760.2015.1092569

8. Sergeant, S., & Mongrain, M. (2015, August). Online Positive Psychology Exercises: Distressed Users Are More Likely to Benefit than Non-distressed Users. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 56, 322-331.

9.  Sergeant, S., & Mongrain, M. (January 2014). An Online Optimism Intervention Reduces Depression in Pessimistic Individuals. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. doi: 10.1037/a0035536

10.  Ritvo, P., Vora, K., Irvine, J., Mongrain, M., Azargive, S., Azam, M. A., Pirboglou, M., Guglietti, C., Wayne, N., Cribbie, R., & Perez, D. (October 2013). Reductions in negative automatic thoughts in students attending mindfulness tutorials predicts increased life satisfaction. International Journal of Educational Psychology, 2(3), doi: 10.4471/ijep.2013.28

11.  Young, R., Struthers, C.W., Khoury, C., Muscat, S., Phills, C., & Mongrain, M. (2013). Forgiveness and revenge: The conflicting needs of dependents and self-critics in relationships. Journal of Clinical and Social Psychology, 32(10), 1099-1119.

12.  Kopala-Sibley, D.C., Mongrain, M., & Zuroff, D. C. (August 2013). A lifespan perspective on Dependency and Self-Criticsm: Age trends from 18 to 59. Journal of Adult Development, 20(1), DOI 10.1007/s10804-013-9163-9.

13. Mongrain, M., & Anselmo- Matthews, T. (March 2012). Do positive psychology exercises work? A replication of Seligman et al. (2005). Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68(4), 382-389.

14.  Mongrain, M., Chin, J., & Shapira, L. B. (Dec. 2010). Practicing compassion increases happiness and self-esteem. Journal of Happiness Studies, 12,963-981.

15.  Shapira, L. B., & Mongrain M. (Sept. 2010).  The benefits of self-compassion and optimism exercises for individuals vulnerable to depression. Journal of Positive Psychology, 5, 377-389.

Other Research Outputs

Sergeant, S., & Mongrain, M. (July 2011). Are positive psychology exercises helpful for people with depressive personality styles? Journal of Positive Psychology, 6, 260-272.

Schulte, F. S., Mongrain, M., & Flora, D. B. (Sept. 2008). Healthy and unhealthy dependence: Implications for Major Depression. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 47, 341-353.

Sturman, E. D., & Mongrain, M. (July 2008). Entrapment and perceived status in graduate students experiencing a recurrence of Major Depression. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 40, 185-188.

Sturman, E. D., & Mongrain, M. (Feb. 2008). The role of personality in defeat: A revised social rank model. European Journal of Personality, 22, 55-79.

Amitay, O., Mongrain, M., & Fazaa, N. (Jan. 2008). Effects of parental self-criticism on daughters' personality and choice of romantic partner. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 75-85.

Mongrain, M., & Trambakoulos, J. (Oct. 2007). A musical mood induction alleviates dysfunctional attitudes in needy and self-critical individuals. Cognitive Psychotherapy: An International Quarterly, 21 (4), 293-307.

Amitay, O. A., & Mongrain, M. (Aug. 2007). From emotional intelligence to intelligent choices of partners. Journal of Social Psychology 147(4), 325–343.

Sturman, E., & Mongrain, M. (2006). Attributional style as a predictor of hopelessness depression. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy: An International Quarterly, 20 (4), 447-458.

Mongrain, M., & Leather, F. (2006). Self-criticism and dependence predict the recurrence of major    depression. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62 (June), 705-713. 

Mongrain, M., & Blackburn, S. (2005). Cognitive vulnerability and lifetime risk for major depression in graduate students. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 29 (December), 747-768.

Sturman, E., & Mongrain, M. (2005). Self-Criticism and Major Depression: An evolutionary framework. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44, 505-519.

Mongrain, M., Lubbers, R., & Struthers, W. (2004). The power of love: Mediation of rejection in roommate relationships of dependents and self-critics.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 94-105.

Heisel, M. J., & Mongrain, M. (2004). Facial expressions and ambivalence: Looking for conflict in all the right faces. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 28, 35-52. 

Zuroff, D. C., Mongrain, M., & Santor, D. C. (2004). Conceptualizing and measuring personality vulnerability to depression: Revisiting issues raised by Coyne and Whiffen (1995). Psychological Bulletin, 130, 489-511.

Zuroff, D. C., Mongrain, M., & Santor, D. C. (2004). Investing in the personality vulnerability research program: Current dividends and future growth. Psychological Bulletin, 130, 512-517. 

Mongrain, M., & Vettese, L. C. (2003). Conflict over emotional expression: Implications for interpersonal communication and depression. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 545-555.

Vettese, L. C., & Mongrain, M. (2000). Communication about the self and partner in the relationships of dependents and self-critics. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 24, 609-626.

Mongrain, M. (1998). Parental representations and support-seeking behaviors related to Dependency and Self-Criticism.  Journal of Personality, 66, 151-173.

Mongrain, M., Vettese, L. C., Shuster, B., & Kendal, N. (1998).  Perceptual biases, affect, and behavior in the relationships of dependents and self-critics. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 230-241.


Association for Psychological Science (APS); Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)

Service/Community Activities

College of Psychologists of Ontario
Licensed member and practicing as a clinical psychologist since 2000.


Dean's Award- Outstanding Teaching - 2009

Faculty Scholar Award McGill University - 1985

Scholar Award- Research Fellowship York University - 1998


Currently available to supervise graduate students: No

Currently taking on work-study students, Graduate Assistants or Volunteers: No

Available to supervise undergraduate thesis projects: No

Current Research

Examining transcendent emotions as well as the dark side of the human psyche. More specifically, Dr. Mongrain wishes to elucidate the antecedents, obstacles, and facilative conditions for flourishing and compassionate responding. 

Research Projects

Project HOPE
Investigation of brief online positive psychology interventions in a large Canadian sample.
Role: Principal Investigator
Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Curriculum Vitae (C.V. file):

CV of Myriam Mongrain