New study: Are you a parent of a person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Are you the parent of a child aged 16-25, who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? If so, we would like your help particularly if you are experiencing behaviours from your child that you perceive are aggressive in nature.This study is interested in both the positive and negative interpretations of parenting a child with a diagnosis of ASD and how you, the parent, make sense of any behaviours that seem aggressive.  We are interested in how these difficulties sometimes associated with Autism Spectrum disorder, impact positively and negatively on parenting and the day-to-day functioning of family life and relationships. To learn more about the study and to contact us, click here.


Good News April 2015

Nisha has had her research thesis for a Master in Clinical Psychology accepted Attitudes to sexuality, relationships and parenting: A study about people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities – Congratulations! You can read the abstract if you click here and the full thesis should be available on Nova University of Newcastle soon.

Alyce has submitted her MClinPsyc thesis for review – Foster carer stress and satisfaction: An investigation of organisational, psychological and placement factors. The thesis has gone out for review so hopefully we will hear back soon.

We also have had another manuscript accepted for publication. Click on the link to read more about the study.

Campbell, LE., McCabe, KL., Melville, J., Strutt, P., Schall, U. (in press) Social cognition dysfunction in adolescents with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (velo-cardio-facial syndrome): Relationship with executive functioning and social competence/functioning. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research. Accepted for publication 30-Dec-2014


Conference presentations

Jane Goodwin has presented her research on growth and positive psychological outcomes for parents of children with developmental disabilities at a recent national conference in Fremantle, Western Australia and also at an international conference in New York.

Goodwin, J., Strutt, P., Dudding-Byth, T., Campbell, L. E. (2014). “Psychological growth in parents of children with genetic neurodevelopmental conditions: Preliminary results” The Society for the Study of Behavioural Phenotypes (SSBP)’s 17th International Research Symposium and Educational Day. New York City, USA

Goodwin, J., Strutt, P., Dudding-Byth, T., Campbell, L. E. (2014). “Psychological growth in parents of children with genetic neurodevelopmental conditions: Preliminary results” 49th Annual Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability (ASID) Conference. Fremantle, Australia

Read more about Jane’s research here.

Research live

Last week Jaime Wroe presented her research, in which she investigated the thinking patterns around parenting for fathers who have just had a child, at the annual fourth year conference for the School of Psychology at the University of Newcastle. Jaime was awarded  the APS Award for Effort and Achievement and one of the Most Popular Presentation Awards. Read more about Jaime’s research findings here

Erin Forbes also presented her research on emotional availability, parental self-efficacy and psychological wellbeing amongst mothers with young children. Erin received excellent feedback on her presentation. More information about Erin’s research will come shortly.


Good News

I would like to congratulate Paul Strutt on the acceptance of his first, first-authored manuscript “High anxiety levels are associated with divergent empathising and systemising tendencies” in the journal Cogent Psychology.

I would also like to congratulate Kristie Austin for successfully having her thesis accepted toward her Masters in Clinical Psychology. Her thesis is titled Depression and anxiety symptoms during the transition to early adulthood for people with intellectual disabilities” and will be available on NOVA shortly.

I would also like to congratulate Sarah Baker on having her thesis successfully accepted for the award of a Master in Clinical Psychology. Her thesis is titledDoes Mindfulness Mediate the Influence of Stress Upon Parenting Relationships in a Foster Care Population: A Pilot Study of the Effectiveness of a Mindfulness Based Parenting Program for Foster Carers“. The thesis is available on Nova.

I would also like to congratulate Nisha Dhani on submitting her thesis toward her Master in Clinical Psychology.

Similarly, congratulations to Jaime Wroe and Erin Forbes for their submission of their theses toward their Hons degrees – best of luck.


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

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.