Michael Chandler passed away in Vancouver on Jan. 28, 2019. He taught at UBC (1977-2003), and was appointed Professor Emeritus. He was named Canada's only Distinguished Investigator of both CIHR and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and will be remembered by colleagues and students as an intellectual force and valued advisor.
Michael Chandler was a developmental psychologist and Professor Emeritus in UBC’s Department of Psychology. His research interests included social-cognitive development in general, and, more particularly, the cross-cultural study of processes of identity formation and their impact on the health and wellbeing on Indigenous youth. This program of research explores the role that culture plays in shaping young people's emerging sense of ownership of their personal and cultural past, and their commitment to their own and their community's future prospects. In a long series of published research findings his work has made it clear that young persons who lose a sense of their own personal and cultural ‘continuity’ (or place in time) are at special risk to suicide and a host of other negative outcomes, including high accident and school dropout rates.
These efforts earned Dr. Chandler the Killam Memorial Senior Research Prize, the Killam Teaching Prize, and resulted in his having been named President of the Jean Piaget Society for the Study of Knowledge and Development. He was appointed Canada's only Distinguished Investigator of both the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.