Alexander von Humboldt Professorship 2023

Tina Malti

How do war and violence affect children psychologically? And how can children overcome such traumas? These are the kind of questions the psychologist Tina Malti explores in her research on childhood development. As the new director of the Leipzig Research Center for Early Child Development (LFE), she will be able to boost the centre’s international repute.

  • Nominating University: Leipzig University
Portrait of Tina Malti
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Developmental psychology

In her research, Tina Malti focuses on the socio-emotional development and mental health of children who are confronted with different burdens. She tests and develops measures, for example, that reinforce children emotionally and help to overcome trauma.

To this end, the German-Palestinian researcher connects developmental psychology with clinical psychology, diagnostics, intervention and differential psychology. With the aid of longitudinal and intervention studies using state-of-the-art statistical methods her theoretical work has been verified in various population groups, age groups and countries. Her approach helps to explain, for instance, why some children already start exhibiting a high level of caring for others at an early age whilst others become aggressive and behave in ways that harm both themselves and their environment. Tina Malti wants to reach children and young people in all social classes; she cooperates with local and international organisations, furnishing them with her research-based knowledge.

Developmental psychology is already well established at Leipzig. As director of LFE, Tina Malti is supposed to continue establishing its flagship position. Leipzig University is also keen to advance transfer to (clinical) practice. It will be Malti’s task to enhance LFE’s international visibility, strengthen links between institutions within the university and beyond, and communicate research findings on health policy and clinical interventions to the public.

Brief bio

Tina Malti has been a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto since 2017. She is also director of the Laboratory for Social-Emotional Development and Intervention as well as founding director of the Centre for Child Development, Mental Health, and Policy. She heads a diverse, interdisciplinary team of over 50 students, postdocs and staff, and attaches great importance to actively promoting junior researchers. After studying psychology at FU Berlin, she worked, amongst other things, as a research assistant in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Zurich and at Harvard Medical School before moving to the University of Toronto in Canada in 2010.