Dr. Nicole Letourneau, PhD, RN, FCAHS

Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation Chair in Parent-Infant Mental Health

First research chair at UCalgary Nursing tackles social issue of toxic stressors on developing children

One in four Canadian children are thought to be at risk for developing emotional or behavioural problems as a result of family violence, or their mother's depression or addictions, according to Statistics Canada.

Established in 2012, as the first research chair in the Faculty of Nursing, the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation Chair in Parent-Infant Mental Health focuses on finding innovative ways to tackle the important social issue of the effects of toxic stressors on developing children. The chair is funded by the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation, which raises funds for excellence in child health, research and family centred care.

Chairholder Nicole Letourneau is a well-known Canadian nurse researcher with a 20-year track record in studying how children are affected by family issues such as post-partum depression, addiction and violence. She has worked to identify the types of parental interventions that are most effective in supporting vulnerable children in these toxic family environments.

Letourneau's Child Health Intervention and Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Studies Program investigates tools that support the healthy development of vulnerable children, especially while they are still in an early care giving environment. These tools can help prevent the cognitive, social-emotional and behavioural problems that these children may develop later in life.


Nicole Letourneau: How Postpartum Depression Affects Babies

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Collaborators/Partners

  • Alberta Health Services
  • Barnard Center of the University of Washington
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Faculty of Nursing, UCalgary

In the News

Addressing the mental health in new mothers and improving the parent-child relationship

Addressing the mental health in new mothers and improving the parent-child relationship

Dr. Nicole Letourneau's VID-KIDS project aims to help educate mothers on recognizing cues from their babies, what they may mean and how they can respond

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Podcast: Parenting with Dr. Nicole Letourneau

Podcast: Parenting with Dr. Nicole Letourneau

In this episode on Brain Child, Krista Forand, registered psychologist, interviews researcher Dr. Nicole Letourneau about what she has learned over the years through her research about parenting.

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Calgary research team calls for reconceptualization of postpartum depression to include dads too

Calgary research team calls for reconceptualization of postpartum depression to include dads too

A Calgary research team says it’s time to reconceptualize our view of postpartum depression. Nicole Lyn Letourneau, along with her team, wants people to refocus relationships within the family by increasing support, especially spousal support, to ensure a healthy relationship with their babies.

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Good beginnings for mental health start in the cradle

Good beginnings for mental health start in the cradle

Infant mental health researchers and practitioners share strategies for interventions into postpartum depression.

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