University of Calgary

Nicole Letourneau

  • Professor


Dr. Letourneau holds the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Research Chair in Parent-Infant Mental Health and is Research Coordinator of RESOLVE Alberta. Her CHILD (Child Health Intervention and Longitudinal Development) Studies Program develops and tests interventions that support the development of infants and children growing up in families affected by toxic stressors including parental depression, addictions, intimate partner violence and low-income. Program subjects include the impact of variables--parent-child relationship quality, attachment, and supportive relationships--on children’s health and development. She focuses on the relationship between protective factors of quality parent-infant/child relationships and children’s physiological and developmental health. Her program seeks both to improve health and developmental outcomes for at-risk children via support interventions and to understand how psychosocial interventions function to improve children’s outcomes. Dr. Letourneau’s research promotes understanding of the relationship among social (caregiving) experiences, neural and endocrine systems, and children’s cognitive and social development. Her recent book “Scientific Parenting: What Science Reveals About Parental Influence”, published by Dundurn in 2013 describes much of this research.

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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