Dr. Brianna Turner (Psychology)
Brianna Turner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and UVic’s CPA-accredited Clinical Psychology program whose research focuses on understanding when and why some people engage in behaviours that directly or indirectly result in physical harm, including non-suicidal self-injury, suicidal behaviours, disordered eating, substance abuse, and aggression. Her goal is to comprehend the emotional, cognitive, and interpersonal experiences that influence these behaviours as they unfold – over hours, days, months and years – in order to improve our ability to predict and reduce their occurrence. In one line of research, Brianna uses micro-longitudinal methods, including smartphone-based surveys, passive monitoring, and wearable biosensors, to understand self-harming behaviours as they occur in situ in at-risk populations, including psychiatrically hospitalized adults and adolescents. A second line of research uses developmental methods, including epidemiological and longitudinal surveys, to understand trajectories of risky behaviours during key developmental transitions from early adolescence through the first several years of post-secondary study. Finally, because understanding the contingencies that promote and deter self-harm has important implications for developing treatments to reduce these behaviours, Brianna’s laboratory-based studies combine clinical interviews, psychophysiological monitoring, and behavioural tasks tasks to closely examine contingencies that impact emotional and behavioural responses. Brianna’s work has been recently published in Psychiatry Research, the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, and the Behavior Therapist, and is forthcoming in Behavior Therapy, the Journal of Personality Disorders, and the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, among others.