I would like to congratulate the new Drs Melanie Stone and Emma Gallagher on the successful completion of their Professional Doctorate degrees in Clinical and Health Psychology. You can read more about their research on our website. Melanie studied stigma among parents with serious mental illness and Emma researched mental health and wellbeing during the transition to adulthood. Both have submitted their manuscripts for publication and we will let you know when they are available.

Also, we have recently had the following manuscript accepted for publication: Goodwin, J., Schoch, K., Shashi, V, Hooper, SR., Morad, O., Zalevsky, M., Gothelf, D and Campbell, LE (in press) A tale worth telling: the impact of the diagnosis experience on disclosure of genetic disorders. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research.

If you are looking to participate in research

Have you just become a Father for the first time?

If so, we’d would love to hear from you! We are trying to find out more about how new dads feel and what they think. If you can spare 30 minutes to complete an online survey, click here: “Understanding ‘Normal’ Negative Thinking Patterns and Themes among New Fathers“.

Are you a Mum with an infant?

Have you or someone you know and care about experienced postnatal depression or difficulties adjusting to parenthood after the birth of a new baby? Help us to conduct research aimed at improving our knowledge and treatment of this often distressing experience. If you are a parent with a baby under 14 months, we are interested in your parenting experiences – good, and not so good, click here: “Here’s looking at you, kid” to learn more.

Have you got a child with a genetic developmental disability – diagnosed or undiagnosed? If so, we are interested in hearing from you

Following on from our earlier study of how parents disclose a genetic disorder to their children, we would like to further understand your experiences surrounding your child, including your emotional reaction and psychological well-being. In particular, we are interested in the support that you as a caregiver have available, and how this helped you to cope with the experience, click here: A study of the emotional reactions and psychological wellbeing of parents of children with genetic developmental disabilities

Good News 2014

I would like to congratulate Victoria Maher on completing her research for the Masters program in Clinical Psychology. Read more about Vicki’s research “The Impact of Stigma and Social Anxiety on Social Participation in People with Severe Mental Illness” in the research section of this website.

Louise Jago has graduated after completing her research on “How Do Foster Carers Experience Their Role As A Foster Carer And Their Interaction With The Foster Care System?”. Laura Hincks also graduated after completing her research “Parental Experience of Raising a Young Adult with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome: Independence, Sexuality and Parenting”

Kristie Austin, Melanie Stone and Sarah Baker have submitted their research theses – best of luck!

Conferences and end of year submissions

Jane Goodwin gave her first presentation at a National conference last week at the Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability in Sydney. Her presentation was titled “Does the parental experience of diagnosis impact on their disclosure to children? A study of parents of children with genetic disorders“. She did really well and got some good feedback on her presentation.

Laura Hincks submitted her Honours thesis last week – Well done!

You can read about recently completed research studies in the Research Findings tab. For instance, you can read about Laura’s interviews with parents of young adults with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome or Lisa’s interviews with young women with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and their thoughts about relationships and parenting or Emily’s survey of foster carers and their experiences.


We would like to congratulate Dr Kathryn McCabe on having her PhD awarded by the University of Newcastle earlier this year. Her doctoral work “Face emotion processing deficits in schizophrenia: identification and remediation utilising visual scanpath technology” can be found at

Emily McCaffery has had her thesis for a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology accepted. Emily’s thesis was titled ” The psychological wellbeing of parents and foster carers: The role of self-efficacy and challenging behaviours.

Also, Vicki Robinson, Louise Jago and Emma Gallagher have recently submitted their theses for examination and we are awaiting to hear the outcomes.


Congratulations to Lisa Phillips

We are happy to announce that Lisa Phillips thesis “Relationships, sexuality and parenting: The experience of five young women with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS). An interpretative phenomenological study” has been approved for her Masters in Clinical Psychology. The feedback from the reviewers was very positive and the final approval was provided today by the Dr Miles Bore, Head of the School of Psychology at the University of Newcastle.

Conference presentations

Melanie Stone made her debut verbal presentation of her research at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Australasian Social Psychologists, Cairns, Australia talking about her research on stigma experienced by parents with serious mental health issues such as schizophrenia.

Paul Strutt made his debut poster presentation at the annual Australasian Experiment Psychology Conference, Adelaide, SA.

Strutt, P., A., Burke, D., Campbell, L., E. (2013) Anxiety levels predict systemising-empathising tendencies and social competence. Poster session presented at the annual Australasian Experiment Psychology Conference, Adelaide, SA.

Theses submission

In the last month Lisa Phillips and Emily McCaffery have submitted their theses for examination for a Master of Clinical Psychology.

Lisa has spent the last two years interviewing young women with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (also known as velo-cardio-facial syndrome) about their attitudes and experiences with relationships, sexuality and future parenthood. The research was qualitative in nature using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Lisa has also submitted her research to a peer-reviewed journal.

Emily spent last year surveying Foster Carers and Biological Parents about their level of self-efficacy and the impact of parenting specific stressors on their mental health. We are currently in the process of writing up the research for submission to a peer reviewed journal.

We will keep you posted on their progress.