Health and Wellbeing

Schools are complex and busy places charged with the responsibility of teaching an increasingly complex and overcrowded curriculum to a diverse range of students. This means that ‘softer’ skills such as relationship development, wellbeing pedagogy, and socio-emotional regulation tend to occur reactively, if at all. Or, they are relegated to add-on programs rather than deeply embedded in the pedagogy of the school.

Health and Wellbeing is a key focus area because we know that school connectedness, positive school cultures and teacher-student relationships are key protective factors. However, schools are also places where young people experience bullying and peer/teacher conflict. Mental health problems are of increasing concern for school communities with impacts for students, teachers, and principals. Student and staff voices are vital to understanding and improving wellbeing at school.

Researchers in C4IE’s Health and Wellbeing Program investigate the many varied components that contribute to positive school environments, including:

  • Children’s rights, student voice, participation and representation
  • Intersection between digital technologies, student safety and wellbeing, including cyberbullying, social media, mobile phones in schools
  • Connectedness between students, teachers, school, community and culture
  • Safety, protection and risk at school including bullying, restraint, seclusion, school violence, restorative and restrictive practices, classroom management, school climate, absenteeism, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicide
  • Programs and interventions including; School wellbeing and mental health initiatives, Positive Behaviour Intervention Supports, resilience programs, and trauma-informed practices
  • Teachers’ emotional management, burnout and wellbeing

Current projects

Recent publications

Cortisol levels in childhood associated with emergence of attenuated psychotic symptoms in early adulthood

Cullen, Alexis E, Fisher, Helen L, Gullet, Nancy, Fraser, Elizabeth R, Roberts, Ruth E, Zahid, Uzma, To, Melody, Yap, Natalie Huijing, Zunszain, Patricia A, Pariante, Carmine M, et al. (2022) Cortisol Levels in Childhood Associated With Emergence of Attenuated Psychotic Symptoms in Early Adulthood Biological Psychiatry, 91 (2), pp.226-235.
View on ePrints

Regional mapping of early childhood risk for mental disorders

Harris, Felicity, Dean, Kimberlie, Laurens, Kristin Robyn, Tzoumakis, Stacy, Carr, Vaughan James, Green, Melissa Jayne (2022) Regional mapping of early childhood risk for mental disorders in an Australian population sample Early Intervention in Psychiatry.
View on ePrints

Childhood self-harm risk factors

O'Hare, Kirstie, Watkeys, Oliver, Whitten, Tyson, Dean, Kimberlie, Laurens, Kristin R, Harris, Felicity, Carr, Vaughan J, Green, Melissa J (2022) Parental and community risk factors for childhood self-harm thoughts and behaviours Journal of Affective Disorders, 310, pp.279-283.

School-based education to address pornography’s influence on young people: A proposed practice framework

Crabbe, Maree, Flood, Michael (2021) School-based education to address pornography’s influence on young people: A proposed practice framework American Journal of Sexuality Education.
View on ePrints

Children, classrooms and challenging behaviour: do the rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few?

Gillett-Swan, Jenna, Lundy, Laura (2021) Children, classrooms and challenging behaviour: do the rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few? Oxford Review of Education.

Child maltreatment and long-term physical and mental health outcomes: An exploration of biopsychosocial determinants and implications for prevention

Mehta, Divya, Kelly, Adrian, Laurens, Kristin R., Haslam, Divna, Williams, Kate, Walsh, Kerryann, Baker, Philip, Carter, Hannah, Khawaja, Nigar, Zelenko, Oksana, et al. (2021) Child maltreatment and long-term physical and mental health outcomes: An exploration of biopsychosocial determinants and implications for prevention Child Psychiatry and Human Development.
View on ePrints

Increased incidence of childhood mental disorders following exposure to early life infection

Green, Melissa J., Watkeys, Oliver J, Whitten, Tyson, Thomas, Catherine, Kariuki, Maina, Dean, Kimberlie, Laurens, Kristin R, Harris, Felicity, Carr, Vaughan J (2021) Increased incidence of childhood mental disorders following exposure to early life infection Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 97, pp.376-382.
View on ePrints

Psychosocial predictors of distressing unusual experiences in adolescence: Testing the fit of an adult cognitive model of psychosis

Gin, Kimberley, Stewart, Catherine, Abbott, Chris, Banerjea, Partha, Bracegirdle, Karen, Browning, Sophie, Byrne, Majella, Emsley, Richard, Ginestet, Cedric, Hirsch, Colette, Kuipers, Elizabeth, Laurens, Kristin R, Onwumere, Juliana, Plant, Deborah, Valmaggia, Lucia, Jolley, Suzanne (2021) Psychosocial predictors of distressing unusual experiences in adolescence: Testing the fit of an adult cognitive model of psychosis Schizophrenia Research, 237, pp.1-8.
View on ePrints

Facilitators and barriers to the implementation of motivational interviewing for bullying perpetration in school settings

Pennell, Donna, Campbell, Marilyn, Tangen, Donna, Runions, Kevin, Brooks, Juliet, Cross, Donna (2020) Facilitators and barriers to the implementation of motivational interviewing for bullying perpetration in school settings Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 61 (1), pp.143-150.
View on ePrints

The burden of online friends: the effects of giving up Facebook on stress and well-being

Vanman, Eric, Baker, Rosemary, Tobin, Stephanie (2018) The burden of online friends: the effects of giving up Facebook on stress and well-being Journal of Social Psychology, 158 (4), pp.496-507.
View on ePrints

Voice and Wellbeing Program Co-Leaders