University of Calgary

Nicole Letourneau

  • Professor

Profile

Dr. Letourneau holds the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Research Chair in Parent-Infant Mental Health and is Director of RESOLVE Alberta. She has received over $50 million in research funding over her 20+ year career, with $17+ million as lead investigator. Her Child Health Intervention and Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Studies Program develops and tests interventions to promote health of infants and children growing up in families affected by toxic stressors including parental depression, addictions, intimate partner violence and low-income. She is also the Principle Investigator of APrON, a 12-year longitudinal follow-up of a pregnancy cohort. Her research focuses on the impact of variables, e.g. parental distress, parent-child relationship quality, attachment, and supportive relationships on children’s health and development as well as the relationship between protective factors of quality parent-infant/child relationships and children’s physiological and developmental health. Dr. Letourneau’s research promotes understanding of the relationship among social (caregiving) experiences, genetics, stress physiology and immune function, and children’s cognitive, behavioural and social-emotional development. She has published 150+ peer-reviewed papers, 150+ opinion editorials appearing in major print and on-line news outlets and two books for the lay public: Scientific Parenting: What Science Reveals About Parental Influence (2013) and What Kind of Parent Am I?: Self-Surveys that Reveal the Impact of of Toxic Stress and More (2018), both from Dundurn. 

Research Interests

  • Vulnerable children
  • Social support
  • Parent-infant/child relationships
  • Maternal mental health
  • Domestic abuse
  • Family environmental effects on child development
  • Parental addictions

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