Nicole Legg

Nicole Legg
Area of expertise

Clinical psychology


Dr. Brianna Turner

Research interests

My research program is closely aligned with my clinical interests and is centered around better understanding when and why adults engage in risky behaviours (i.e., disordered eating, suicidal ideation, non suicidal self-injury, substance use). Throughout my undergraduate Honours thesis and Masters-level work, I aimed to undercover how personality-related factors, particularly in conjunction with emotional states, render certain individuals more susceptible to engaging in risky behaviours than others, with a focus on disordered eating. Throughout my PhD-level research, I have expanded my research program to focus on changes that occur within people directly before, and after, they engage in risky behaviours, with the goals of  better understanding what drives people to engage in these behaviours serve and illuminating predictors of different trajectories of such behaviors.

My dissertation aims to uncover differences in the psychological experiences that occur when people who do, and do not have disordered eating, engage in exercise; some research suggests that those with disordered eating may feel worse after they exercise, and additional research is needed to better understand this phenomena and to make appropriate exercise recommendations. Weaved into my research on risky behaviors, is my interest in harnessing digital technology (e.g., smartphone apps, wearable fitness trackers) to collect intensive data over the course of several days, to better understand engagement in these behaviour as they unfold in real-time.

Selected publications

Robillard, C. L., Legg, N. K., & Ames, M. E., & Turner, B. J. (2022). Support for a transdiagnostic motivational model of self-damaging behaviors: Comparing the salience of motives for binge drinking, disordered eating, and nonsuicidal self-injury. Behavior Therapy. Online ahead of print.

Legg, N.K., Switzer, A.C., & Turner, B.J. (in-press). Fine-grained assessment of non suicidal self-injury. Oxford Handbook of Non Suicidal Self-Injury. Oxford University Press.

Robillard, C.L, Legg, N.K., & Turner, B.J. (in-press). Between- and within-person correlates of alcohol-impaired driving in first-year university students: The roles of impulsivity, binge drinking, depression and anxiety. Journal of Studies of Alcohol and Drugs.

Gregory, Legg, N. K., Senay, Z., Barden, J.-L., Phiri, P., Rathod, S., Turner, B. J., & Paterson, T. S. E. (2021). Mental health and social connectedness across the adult lifespan in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadian Journal on Aging40(4), 554–569.

Legg, N.K., & Turner, B. J. (2021). Personality correlates of eating pathology severity and subtypes in the national comorbidity survey adolescent supplement. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 77(1), 189-210.

Selected presentations

Legg, N.K., Turner, B. J., & Paterson, T. S. E. (2021, Oct). Comparative examination of reasons driving Canadians’ vaccine hesitancy across the adult age-span. Paper presentation: Canadian Association of Gerontology - CAG2021 Hindsight 20/20: Looking Back for a Vision Forward in Gerontology, Toronto, ON, CA (virtual presentation).

Legg, N. K., Robillard, C. L., Senay, Z. W. & Turner, B. J. (2021, November). Protective factors of nonsuicidal self-injury during the transition to college: The roles of wellbeing, coping, and sleep quality. In M. Southward (Chair), Identifying strengths for better health: Resilience factors in borderline personality disorder and non-suicidal self-injury [Symposium]. Symposium talk presentation: 55th Annual Conference of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, New Orleans, LA, USA (virtual presentation).

Legg, N.K., Helps, C., Robillard, C. L., & Turner, B. J. (2021, November). BPD traits moderate the association between hot and cold risk taking and engagement in risky behaviors. In K. L. Dixon-Gordon and E. E. Waite (Co-chairs), Innovative multimethod approaches to disentangling the interplay of emotions and impulsive behaviors in BPD: Finetuning treatment targets [Symposium]. Symposium talk presentation: 55th Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, New Orleans, LA, USA (virtual presentation).

Recent awards

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Council Doctoral Fellowship, University of Victoria
  • Presidents Research Award, University of Victoria
  • Community Engaged Learning Scholarship
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellowship – Canadian Graduate Scholarships (Masters Program)

Download Nicole's CV