The Research Unit in the Child Guidance Clinic (CGC) was established in 2008. One of its first major research project was to support a large scale randomized controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of Omega-3 essential fatty acids with social skills training for children and adolescents with anger and aggression problems. This was funded by an Institutional Research Grant (IRG) from the National Medical Research Council (NMRC). Another concurrent study was a randomized controlled trial examining the efficacy of a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy programme for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This study was also funded by an IRG from the NMRC.

With a multidisciplinary team of child psychiatrists, allied health specialists, and research staff, this Research Unit has expanded, since its inception, to offer expertise to a number of research studies within the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Our research efforts aim to examine the influence of genes and brain mechanisms on behaviour, risk and protective factors of psychopathology, as well as evidence-based assessments and treatments of paediatric psychiatric conditions.

The Research Unit believes that modern clinical care goes hand in hand with research. We want only the best, most empirically robust care for the children we see in the clinic by keeping abreast of the most modern and systematic intervention approaches for managing children with behavioural problems. Current research topics include mental health literacy in youths, suicide-related behaviours and non-suicidal self-injury, studies exploring etiologies in neurodevelopmental disorders as well as digital interventions for anger management and brain computer interface technology to address various conditions such as ADHD and anxiety. The Research Unit works closely with important stakeholders such as the various Ministries as well as overseas academic institutions to deliver evidence-based recommendations for interventions and services. To date, we have established research collaborations with various local and foreign institutions, including National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, A*Star, DUKE-NUS Graduate Medical School, and the University of Pennsylvania.