Photo of Dr. Deinera Exner-Cortens

Dr. Deinera Exner-Cortens

Pronouns: she/her


Chair: CIHR Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Childhood Health Promotion

Faculty of Arts , Department of Psychology

Adjunct Associate Professor

Faculty of Social Work, Calgary Campus

Joint Appointment

Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry

Full Member

Hotchkiss Brain Institute

Full Member

Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education

Child Health & Wellness Researcher

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, Owerko Centre

Full Member

O'Brien Institute for Public Health

Contact information

Web presence

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Educational Background

BSc Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology (minor: Music), The University of Calgary, 2007

MPH (Master of Public Health) Social and Behavioral Science, Boston University, 2009

MA Human Development, Cornell University, 2011

PhD Developmental Psychology, Cornell University, 2014


Dr. Exner-Cortens' research focuses on the promotion of healthy adolescent development. While a number of factors contribute to well-being in adolescence, in her work, Dr. Exner-Cortens' specifically considers the role of healthy relationships, as unhealthy relationships in adolescence are associated with numerous adverse outcomes both concurrently and longitudinally. The overarching goal of her research is to understand how best to promote healthy relationships in adolescence, in order to prevent adverse experiences that negatively impact health throughout the life course. In her primary work in this area, Dr. Exner-Cortens' leads evaluation of healthy relationships programs and approaches in school and community settings in Alberta. Healthy relationships programs are designed to build the skills and capacities adolescents need to engage in positive interpersonal relationships that are violence-free. In addition to program evaluation work, Dr. Exner-Cortens' also has expertise in adolescent dating violence, where she studies trajectories between victimization and future outcomes. Dr. Exner-Cortens' mixed-methods research includes collaboration with both academic and community partners. 


Areas of Research

School Mental Health, Violence Prevention, Healthy Relationships, Suicide Prevention, Program Evaluation, Adolescent Dating Violence


Course number Course title Semester
PSYC 429 Adolescence Fall 2020
PSYC 501 Honours Seminar: Advancing Youth Wellbeing Fall 2021
PSYC 429 Adolescence Fall 2022


  • Innovation Award: Leadership in Family Violence Prevention, Government of Alberta. 2020
  • John B. Reid Early Career Award, Society for Prevention Research . 2020
  • Top 40 Under 40, Avenue Magazine, Calgary. 2019