Nicole Letourneau

Nicole Letourneau is author of Scientific Parenting: What Science Reveals About Parental Influence, published by Dundurn in 2013. She is also Full Professor in the Faculties of Nursing and Cumming School of Medicine (Pediatrics & Psychiatry) and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair in Parent-Infant Mental Health at the University of Calgary. She is also the RESOLVE Alberta Research Coordinator, engaged with partners across the Prairies in research and education on family violence and abuse prevention. Until 2011, she was the Canada Research Chair in Healthy Child Development at the University of New Brunswick where she also co-founded the New Brunswick Health Policy Laboratory. She is also the Director of RESOLVE Alberta, engaged with partners across the Prairies in research and education on family violence and abuse prevention. Until 2011, she was the Canada Research Chair in Healthy Child Development at the University of New Brunswick where she also co-founded the New Brunswick Health Policy Laboratory.

Dr. Letourneau received her bachelor’s degree in nursing (1991) from the University of New Brunswick, followed by her master’s degree (1994) and PhD (1998), both in nursing, from the University of Alberta. She completed postdoctoral studies on social support for vulnerable families with Dr. Miriam Stewart and Dr. J. Douglas Willms. Her research program entitled “Child Health Intervention and Longitudinal Development” (CHILD) Studies Program, focuses on developing and testing interventions to support vulnerable children’s development, with an emphasis on addressing children’s exposure to toxic stress, associated with family violence, parental depression and substance abuse, in their early caregiving environments. Some of her current studies focus on 1. Implementing a video-feedback interaction guidance intervention for depressed mothers of young children (with Calgary Public Health), 2. understanding the impact of maternal-fetal stress on infant development, and 3. Understanding the impact of maternal-infant relationships on infant development and allergic conditions. She has received many honours including the Peak Scholars Award from the University of Calgary and Inspiration Award for Child Abuse Prevention from the Alberta Ministry of Human Services in 2016, College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta Research Excellence Award in 2015, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2014, Nurses Association of New Brunswick Merit Award in Research in 2011, Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 and “Who’s Who in Canada” in 2008, Canada’s premier young investigator for receiving the Peter Lougheed New Investigator award from CIHR in 2007, Outstanding New Investigator in Research Award from the Canadian Association for Nursing Research in 2003 and finally, the Alumni Horizon Award for early achievement from the University of Alberta in 2003. She has published results of her research in over 130 refereed journals and books. She was also a member of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research New Investigator Network and served on CIHR’s Institute of Gender and Health Institute Advisory Board, and CIHR’s Population Health Review Committee. Currently, she serves on the Provincial Council for the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta.

She is married to Dean Mullin, PhD, MBA, P Eng and mother to two boys, Maxwell and Jack.

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Commentaries by Dr. Nicole Letourneau

When a new mom has disturbing and uncontrolled thoughts about hurting her baby, help is available
Including the family in children’s literacy education // Faire participer les familles à l’alphabétisation des enfants
Mentorship programs for youth see results // Programmes de mentorat pour jeunes — voir les résultats
Defusing the ticking time bomb that can be postpartum depression
Why is it so hard for mothers to breastfeed in Canada? // Pourquoi est-il si difficile pour les femmes d’allaiter au Canada?
Personalized medicine for child health is a distraction // Les investissements de santé publique en médecine personnalisée destinée aux enfants ne sont que de la poudre aux yeux
Canada needs to rethink approach to early childhood development // Le Canada doit repenser son approche en matière de petite enfance
Why does Canada do so poorly on children’s health rankings?
Enjoy some digital family time together
Fathers important in mothers’ lives and to baby’s development // Le père compte dans la vie d’une mère et contribue au développement de sa progéniture
Prenatal stress can affect the fetal and infant brain // Le stress parental peut nuire au cerveau du fœtus et du bébé 
Another kind of poverty // Une autre sorte de pauvreté
Postpartum depression is a family affair // La dépression postpartum est une affaire de famille
A parent-first approach helps children
How toxic stress is hurting our children // Les effets nocifs du stress toxique sur nos enfants

Podcasts by Dr. Nicole Letourneau:

Podcast: Why do Canada’s children lag so far behind

Posters by Dr. Nicole Letourneau:

Enjoy some digital family time together

“New research shows there is no negative behaviour associated with kids’ use of video games in households with a strong parent-child bond.”

Read the commentary: Enjoy some digital family time together

 

 

 

 

Le numérique et la vie de famille sont compatibles

« Dans les ménages où le lien parent-enfant est solide, le fait que les enfants jouent à des jeux vidéo à la maison n’est associé à aucun comportement négatif. »

Lisez l’article : Le numérique et la vie de famille sont compatibles

 

 

 

 

Dads important to baby’s development

“In sustained doses, the stress hormone cortisol can weaken children’s developing brain architecture. If left unchecked, it can lead to all kinds of psychological, emotional and even physical problems, many of which linger into adulthood.”

Read the commentary: Dads important to baby’s development

 

 

 

 

Prenatal stress can affect the fetal and infant brain

“If we want to end abuse, to eliminate poverty, to help solve the thorniest problems our society faces, the best place to begin is at the beginning: prenatal and infancy care.”

Read the commentary: Prenatal stress can affect the fetal and infant brain

 

 

 

 

LetourneauPosterJuly15.13

“Childhood is not quite the stress-free paradise that our rose-tinted memories might suggest. Children – even infants – can suffer from chronic, toxic stress.”

Read the commentary: How toxic stress is hurting our children

 

 

 

 

Les effets nocifs du stress toxique sur nos enfants

“L’enfance n’est pas tout à fait le paradis sans stress que suggère notre mémoire, qui peut idéaliser cette période de vie. Les enfants, même les nourrissons, peuvent souffrir d’un stress chronique et toxique.”

Lisez l’article: Les effets nocifs du stress toxique sur nos enfants 

 

 

 

 

Canada needs to rethink approach to early childhood development

“Where countries like Sweden and the Netherlands really get it right – and where we in Canada really need to focus our attention – is in reframing early childhood development as an issue worthy of our attention.  Canada lacks a national vision.”

Read the commentary: Canada needs to rethink approach to early childhood development

 

Canada needs to rethink approach to early childhood development

“Norway, Sweden and Germany have significantly more generous parental leave policies than Canada.  In these countries, parents on leave receive 85% to 90% of their annual salaries compared to Canada’s 50%, and parents with the means to do so can take upwards of three years and three months off to raise a young child, with the guarantee that their job will be there for them when they return.”

Read the commentary: Canada needs to rethink approach to early childhood development

 

letourneauposter3aug08-16“I think we need to really understand that child-bearing families in Canada need a lot more support than they’re getting.”

Read the commentary: Personalized medicine for child health is a distraction

 

 

letourneauposter4aug08-16“Society doesn’t fully appreciate how crucially important those first years are, and how important that parent-child relationship is. It’s not just quality time, it’s quantity of quality time. Children need caregivers who are there, who are not preoccupied by work.”

Read the commentary: Personalized medicine for child health is a distraction

 

letourneauposteraug08-16

“Handing over cash to parents for their children does nothing to address issues of quality care. We don’t have adequate quality care for kids in Canada.”

Read the commentary: Personalized medicine for child health is a distraction

 

 

When inequality in Canada goes up, child well-being goes down

“35 percent of children in low-income neighbourhoods are prone to poor development compared with 20 percent of children from high-income neighbourhoods.”

Read the commentary: When inequality in Canada goes up, child well-being goes down

 

When inequality in Canada goes up, child well-being goes down

“According to UNICEF, Canada is one of the more unequal societies for children and youth, ranking 26th of 35 rich nations on indicators like health, education, income and life satisfaction.”

Read the commentary: When inequality in Canada goes up, child well-being goes down

 

 

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