• Turner, Brianna


    Affiliate Investigator, BC Children's Hospital Research Institute
    Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Victoria
    Research Fellow, Centre for Youth and Society, University of Victoria

    Degrees / Designations


    Primary Area of Research
    Brain Behaviour and Development
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    Lab Phone
    Mailing Address
    Department of Psychology, University of Victoria

    Room COR A276
    PO Box 1700 STN CSC
    Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2

    Affiliate Websites


    Research Areas
    • Nonsuicidal and suicidal self-harm 
    • Risk-taking behaviours 
    • Youth mental health 
    Dr. Turner’s research focuses on understanding when and why people engage in behaviours that are physically harmful to themselves, including nonsuicidal self-injury, suicidal behaviors, disordered eating and alcohol/drug use. She focuses on using micro-longitudinal and longitudinal methods to observe how these behaviours change over minutes, hours, days, months and years. In addition, she uses epidemiological surveys to understand the population-level health impact of these behaviors across the lifespan.
    Current Projects

    Micro-longitudinal Studies
    In order to understand when and why different behaviours occur, we need to directly observe those behaviours in their natural contexts. Micro-longitudinal studies use a variety of technologies, including smartphone-based surveys, passive digital monitoringm and wearable biosensors, to understand behaviours as they unfold in real-time and in real life. Dr. Turner is currently involved in several projects examining the social, cognitive and emotional contexts that increase risk for suicidal and nonsuicidal self-injury during and following psychiatric treatment in both youth and adults.

    Developmental Studies
    Developmental studies are important for understanding dynamic trajectories of risky behaviours across the lifespan. For instance, we know that many risky behaviours begin in adolescence. While some youth develop long-standing problems related to these behaviours, many others are able to stop them with little formal intervention. Dr. Turner's current research uses epidemiological surveys and accelerated longitudinal designs to understand the onset, course, and offset of risky behaviours during key developmental transitions.

    Laboratory Studies
    Understanding the contingencies that promote and deter risky behaviours has important implications for developing treatments to reduce these behaviours. Dr. Turner's research uses laboratory-based studies to closely examine the impact of these contingencies on emotional, physiological and behavioural responses. Her lab studies typically include a clinical interview, psychophysiological monitoring, and a variety of computer-based tasks.

    Selected Publications

    Turner, B. J., Wakefield, M., A., Gratz, K. L., & Chapman, A. L. (in press). Characterizing interpersonal difficulties among young adults who engage in nonsuicidal self-injury using a daily diary. Behavior Therapy. doi:10.1016/j.beth.2016.07.001s

    Kleiman, E. M., Turner, B. J., Chapman, A. L., & Nock, M. K. (in press). Fatigue moderates the relationship between perceived stress and suicidal ideation: Evidence from real-time monitoring and daily diary studies. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

    Kleiman, E. M., Turner, B. J., Beale, E., Fedor, S., Huffman, J., & Nock, M. K. (in press). Examination of real-time fluctuations in suicidal ideation and its risk factors: An ecological momentary assessment study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

    Turner, B. J., Kleiman, E. M., & Nock, M. K. (in press). Psychopathology and suicidal behavior. In J. N. Butcher, J. M. Hooley, & P. D. Kendall (Eds.), The APA Handbook of Psychopathology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Press.

    Turner, B. J., Cobb, R. J., Gratz, K. L., & Chapman, A. L. (2016). The role of interpersonal conflict and perceived social support in nonsuicidal self-injury in daily life. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 125(4), 588-598. doi: 10.1037/abn0000141

    Turner, B. J., Yiu, A., Claes, L., Muehlenkamp, J., & Chapman, A. L. (2016). Occurrence and co-occurrence of nonsuicidal self-injury and disordered eating in a daily diary study: Which behavior, when? Psychiatry Research, 246, 39-47. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2016.09.012

    Turner, B. J., Dixon-Gordon, K. L., Austin, S. B., Rodriguez, M., Rosenthal, M. Z., & Chapman, A. L. (2015). Non-suicidal self-injury with and without borderline personality disorder: Differences in self-injury and diagnostic comorbidity. Psychiatry Research, 230(1), 28-35. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.07.058

    Turner, B. J., Yiu, A., Layden, B. K., Claes, L., Zaitsoff, S. L., & Chapman, A. L. (2015). Temporal relationships between disordered eating and non-suicidal self-injury: Examining symptom overlap over one year. Behavior Therapy, 46(1), 125-138. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2014.09.002

    Turner, B. J., Austin, S. B., & Chapman, A. L. (2014). Treating non-suicidal self-injury: A systematic review of psychosocial and pharmacological interventions. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 59(11), 576-585.

    Turner, B. J., Claes, L., Wilderjans, T. F., Pauwels, E., Dierckx, E., Chapman, A. L., & Schoevaerts, K. (2014). Personality profiles in eating disorders: Further evidence of the clinical utility of examining subtypes based on temperament. Psychiatry Research, 219(1), 157-165. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2014.04.036.


    Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Insight Development Grant (2017-2019)
          Testing a novel person-context model of risk-taking behaviours in first-year                     undergraduates
          Principal Investigator: $74,841.00

    University of Victoria Internal Research/Creative Project Grants (2017-2018)
         Using mobile technologies to understand intentional self-harm in youth
         Principal Investigator: $9,910.43

    National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Behavioral and Integrative Treatment Development (R01) (2016-2021)
        Preventing Addiction Related Suicide (PARS) – Controlled Trial of Secondary Suicide     Prevention
        Consultant: $25,000 sub-award (Total grant value: $2,845,581)

    Fund for Research on the Foundations of Human Behavior, Harvard University (2016-2018)
         Developing novel methods to test a behavioral economic model of youth suicide
         Principal Investigator: $5,000

    Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute Community Support Program – Institute of Population and Public Health (2016-2018)
          Understanding Suicidal Behavior in Adolescents: A Population Health Approach
          Principal Investigator: $5,000

    Canadian Institutes of Health Research Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship (2015-2016)
         Does preference for immediate versus long-term outcome predict adolescent          suicidal behavior? Development and validation of a novel assessment of decision-    making
         Postdoctoral Trainee: $70,000

    Canadian Institutes of Health Research Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement (2013)
          Disordered eating behavior and non-suicidal self-injury: A daily diary study
          Doctoral Trainee: $6,000

    Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship Doctoral Award (2010-2013)
           Prediction of deliberate self-harm: Utility of the barriers to self-harm inventory
           Doctoral Trainee: $105,000

    Honours & Awards
    • International Society for the Study of Self-injury 2016 Conference Travel Award
    • University of Washington School of Medicine 2015 Director’s Prize: The Nancy Robinson, PhD, Award for Outstanding Overall Achievement by a Psychology Resident
    • Military Suicide Research Consortium 2015 Student Research Training Day Travel Award
    • Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Suicide and Self-injury Special Interest Group 2013 Student Poster Award
    Research Group Members