Associate Professor Adrian Kelly

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Doctor of Philosophy (University of Queensland), Master of Business Administration (University of Queensland), Master of Clinical Psychology (University of Queensland), Postgraduate Diploma of Psychology (University of Queensland), Bachelor of Science (University of Queensland)

I am interested in delivering efficacious and cost effective interventions that tackle key public health problems for young people, including depression, family distress, and addictive behaviours, including tobacco, alcohol, cannabis use and vaping, gaming addiction, and problem gambling.  I also have an interest in autism (in particular, ASD Level 1) and its expression over the child and adolescent years.

I am an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology in the QUT School of Psychology and Counselling and Fellow of the APS Clinical College and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  I am also a member of the Centre for Inclusive Education, and the Australia-China Center for Public Health.  I am Leader of the Child adversity, mental health and resilience theme at the QUT Centre for Child Health and Well-being.

I have published more than 120 peer reviewed papers (see some examples of recent papers below), and I am proud that many of my strongest papers are led by PhD students conducting work under my supervision.  I work closely with leading adolescent health researchers around Australia and beyond.  It has been wonderful to work with seminal researchers across the United States, and the University of Washington in particular. Much of this international work has focused on identifying students at risk of school disengagement, depression, and polydrug use.

I have led several ARC Discovery Projects and NHMRC grants as first chief investigator, and I have held an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship.  My contribution to reducing the impact of drug and alcohol problems in young people has been recognised at Federal and State levels, including the Australian Federal Government Department of Health and Ageing 'Excellence in Research' award (Parliament House, 2013).

It has been a career highlight to be involved in the training of Australia's future clinicians and researchers at the honours, Masters and PhD level.  Many of my students have published their research in top tier journals, received prestigious university and national scholarships/fellowships, and won prestigious international travel fellowships.

I also have a Master of Business Administration (UQ 2019, with Academic Excellence) and I have considerable experience in small business development.  I am a past Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Business and Economics, and I have received funding in conjunction with the UQ Faculty of Business Economics and Law to develop and disseminate workplace interventions for businesses employing people with autism.

Here are some recent publications, please do check  these out on QUT EPRINTS or PURE, or email me and I will send you a preprint:

Rowland, B., Kelly, A. B., Benstead, M., Heerde, J., Clancy, E., Bailey, J., Hallam, B., Mohebbi, M., Horner, R., & Toumbourou, J. W. (2022). School environment influences on adolescent depression: A six-year longitudinal study.  Journal of Religion and Health. Accepted 23/1/2022. Q1

Rowland, B., Kelly, A. B., Mohebbi, M., Kremer, P., Abraham, C., Abimanyi-Ochom., J., Carter, R., Williams, J., Smith, R., Osborn, A., Hall, J., Hosseini, T., Renner, H., Toumbourou, J. W. (2022). Evaluation of community coalition training effects on municipal youth crime rates in Victoria, Australia: 2010 – 2019.  Prevention Science, 23, 24–35. Q1

Mehta, D. & Kelly*, A. B., Laurens, K. R., Haslam, D., Williams, K. E., Walsh, K., Baker, P., Carter, H. E., Khawaja, N., Zelenko, O., & Mathews, B. (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. DOI: 10.1007/s10578-021-01258-8.  *DM and ABK are joint first authors. Q1

Heerde, J. A., Bailey, J. A., Kelly, A. B., McMorris, B., Patton, G. C., & Toumbourou, J. W. (2021).  Life-course predictors of homelessness from adolescence into adulthood: A population-based cohort study.  Journal of Adolescence, 91, 15-24. DOI 10.1016/j.adolescence.2021.06.007. Q1

Rowland, B., Kremer, P., Williams, J., Kelly, A. B., Patton, G., & Toumbourou, J. W. (2021).  A component evaluation of a randomised control community intervention to reduce adolescent alcohol use in Australia.  Prevention Science, 23, 36-47. doi: 10.1007/s11121-021-01310-y. PMID: 34714508. Q1

Saggers, B., Campbell, M., Kelly, A. B., & Killingly, C. (2021). Are schools’ lockdown drills really beneficial?  Journal of School Health, 91(6), 451-453. PMID: 33870506. DOI 10.1111/josh.13020.  Q1

Hayixibayi, A., Strodl, E., Chen, W, & Kelly, A. B.  (2021). School-based relationships and problematic internet use amongst Chinese students. PLoS ONE 16(3): e0248600. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0248600PLoS ONE. Q1

Additional information

My research is focused on adapting what we know works in highly controlled research environments to community settings where problems are often clustered and multi-level, and understanding contextual inhibitors to behavioural change. Much of the work of myself and my team is focused on person-centred empirical methodologies (e.g., latent cluster/profile analysis), where the emphasis is on understanding collateral issues affecting long term outcomes, rather than variable-centred approaches that often de-contextualize problems.

Our national team is implementing a Type II translational trial of a community-based approach to adolescent alcohol problems and school disengagement.  This trial is the first of its kind and is operating across three Australian States. We have recently published 2 papers in Prevention Science showing positive effects across communities on youth violence and alcohol use.  These approaches are all about developing local coalitions to implement evidence-based practices that address problems prioritised by communities.

Estimating the contribution of adolescent alcohol misuse prevention to the reduction of alcohol-related harm in Australia
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year