Laboratory for Social-Emotional Development and Intervention

Tina Malti is Professor of Psychology and Founding Director of the Laboratory for Social-Emotional Development and Intervention at the University of Toronto. She is cross-appointed as a professor in the Division of Child and Youth Mental Health at U of T's Department of Psychiatry and a registered clinical psychologist in Ontario (Canada) and Zug (Switzerland). Tina is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 7: Developmental Psychology, as well as Division 53: Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology) and the Association for Psychological Science.


In 2019, Tina created and established the Centre for Child Development, Mental Health, and Policy at the University of Toronto Mississauga, and she became its founding director. The vision of this multi-disciplinary research centre is to foster every child’s healthy development and potential for kindness, both locally and globally.


Tina received her doctorate in developmental psychology from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Free University of Berlin in 2003. In 2005, she completed her clinical training at the Academy of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Children and Adolescents in Switzerland. After her post-doctoral studies at Harvard Medical School, the University of Maryland, and the Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development, she joined the faculty at the University of Toronto in 2010.


The overt aim of Tina Malti’s program of research is to gain new insight into the origin and developmental trajectories of aggressive behaviour and kindness from early childhood through adolescence. Over the past decade, her collaborators and she have been involved in efforts to identify social-emotional processes and biomarkers associated with the foundations and distinct pathways of aggression and kindness using new methodological advances across different disciplines. In order to study these topics, she utilizes a variety of research designs, ranging from experimental cross-sectional and large-scale longitudinal approaches to randomized controlled trials and meta-analysis. Based on her recursive socio-emotional developmental theory, Tina continues to create, test, and evaluate social-emotional intervention approaches that aim to  reduce the negative effects of exposure to violence and enhance children’s potential for kindness. The long-term scientific goal is to generate knowledge on how to innovate practices, establish scalable impact, and influence policy.


Tina has authored and co-authored more than 180 journal articles, book chapters, and books. Her research has been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). She has received numerous awards for her research on social-emotional development, aggression, and kindness, including the New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA), and the New Investigator Award from the International Society for the Study of Aggression (ISRA).


She is currently an Associate Editor of the journal Child Development and serves as the Membership Secretary of the  International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development.

Tina Malti, Ph.D., C.Psych.

Tina Malti


Tina Malti, Ph.D.



University of Toronto Mississauga