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 the Department of Psychiatry. Tina is also a registered clinical psychologist in Ontario (Canada) and Zug (Switzerland).


She 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.


She 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.


Tina has received numerous awards for her research on social-emotional development, aggression, and child and youth mental health, 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.

Tina Malti


Tina Malti, Ph.D.

The overt aim of Dr. 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 and how our biological systems and emotional experiences in response to stressful contexts can prevent or trigger their emergence and distinct pathways. 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.The long-term scientific goal is to design and implement social-emotional intervention approaches to enhance kindness and reduce aggression and negative consequences of exposure to violence in children facing multiple forms of adversity.


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 pathways of aggression and kindness using new methodological advances across different disciplines.  Based on her recursive socio-emotional developmental theory, Tina also continues to create, test, and adapt intervention approaches that aim to reduce the negative effects of exposure to violence and promote mental health and kindness in children. Ultimately, the goal of this program of research is to generate knowledge on how to innovate practices and establish scalable impact.


She has authored and co-authored more than 150 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).


In July 2016, she was named recipient of a CIHR Foundation grant (new/early career investigator) to study the psychological and biological mechanisms underlying childhood aggression and to design and test new practices to identify and reduce aggression and promote empathy and prosocial orientations in at-risk children and youth.






University of Toronto Mississauga