Would you like to participate in research?

Would you like to participate in research?

We are always looking for individuals and schools to participate in our research studies. Take a look at some of the projects we are currently working on and if you're interested please make contact.

Studies suitable for individuals

Daily activities and emotional coping following stress

We are investigating the relationship between people’s emotional well-being and regular activities following stressful life events. The results from this study will further our understanding as to which activities can help people adapt and recover from highly stressful experiences. There are three phases to this study which in total involves 2 hours of your time spread out over 2 weeks, and it's all done online! There is a gift voucher of $35 for completing all three phases..

Start the survey  

Contact: John Martin at john.martin3@students.mq.edu.au or telephone : 0415096750

Researchers: John Martin, PhD Student, Associate Professor Maria Kangas

Recruitment end date: January 30, 2017

What's it like to be the parent of a teenager (13-17 years)?

How do you handle their moodiness or depression?

A lot of things can change during the teenage years, including the relationship between teens and their parents. It is common to see an increase in moodiness during adolescence, and sometimes even depression. As teenagers start to become more independent, it can be difficult for parents to know how to handle these feelings in their child. Further, teens’ moodiness can also have a big impact on the lives of parents.

We want to understand what it is like to be the parent of a teenager, and how you handle their moods. Your child may or may not struggle with low mood or depression. If you are the parent of a teen (13-17 years), please complete the anonymous online survey. 

You will receive individual feedback about whether your child is showing elevated levels of depressive symptoms, and will have the option to go into the draw to win one of five $50 visa gift cards.

Start the 20 minute survey: https://mqedu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_511ralWcbJZ6ki9

Contact: carly.johnco@mq.edu.au or (02) 9850 6750

Researchers: Doctor Carly Johnco, Professor Ron Rapee

Recruitment end date: October 2017

Want to know if your child is emotionally and socially healthy?

Children in year 6 are invited to participate in a study which will follow their emotional and social development over several years in a bid to further understand factors which promote emotional resilience and wellbeing. Participation requires completion of online questionnaires, phone interviews to screen your child's emotional wellbeing, and lab activities each year at Macquarie University. Parents will be informed if their child's wellbeing is cause for concern.

Participating families will receive $100 and a “thank you pack” each year they take part in the project. And there are opportunities to be involved in competitions and receive prizes throughout the year. If you’re interested or would like more details, please

Contact: (02) 9850 4080 or email: rawproject@mq.edu.au

Researchers: Professor Ron Rapee, Dr Carly Johnco, Dr Ella Oar, Dr Jasmine Fardouly, and Dr Natasha Magson

Recruitment end date: July 2017

Gifts! Why do we love them?

We are trying to understand why people like to receive gifts. If you love owning possessions--then please consider participating in this study. The study involves completing a mental visualization task and answering a number of questions about your thoughts on potential gifts.

Complete the survey to find out if you're eligible to participate

Researchers: Associate Professor Melissa Norberg, Associate Professor, Jessica Grisham and Cathy Kwok

Recruitment end date: September 2017

Treating anxiety and depression in patients with Parkinson’s disease

We are trialling a new psychological treatment program to manage anxiety and depression in people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Interested participants who are over the age of 50 years who suffer from moderate to severe levels of anxiety or depression can find out more information by calling (02) 9850 8034.This project is supported by a Seeding Grant from NSW Parkinson’s Association

Contact: Kate on (02) 9850 8034

Researchers: Associate Professor Viviana Wuthrich and Distinguished Professor Ron Rapee

Recruitment end date: June 2017

Hearing loss and anxiety

We're conducting a study into the emotional health of children with hearing loss aged between 3 and 12 years old. The study involves an online survey for parents and children and will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. The collection of this information will contribute to a greater understanding of the factors leading to emotional health problems in youth with hearing loss.

Participating in this study gives you the opportunity to enter a draw to win an iPad mini valued at approximately $369.

Complete the survey (approx 30 minutes)

Contact: johanna.long@students.mq.edu.au

Researchers: Jennie Hudson & Johanna Long

Recruitment end date: 30 October 2016

What is the best way to measure anxiety in adults, 60 years and over?

We’re trying to find out which questions are best to assess anxiety in people over 60.  If you’re over 60 and have experienced symptoms of anxiety such as feeling nervous or on edge, you can help us by filling out some brief questionnaires online.

Participants required: 60 years or older

Complete the survey: http://tinyurl.com/anxietyover60 

Contact:  miri.forbes@mq.edu.au

Researchers: Miri Forbes, Viviana Wuthrich

Recruitment End date: 30 January 2017

Studies suitable for schools

Preventing Anxiety and Victimisation through education (PAVe)

About PAVe?

What outcomes should schools expect by participating in PAVe?

Who to contact to register interest

About PAVe?

PAVe is an exciting new research intervention project being conducted in NSW and Western Australian primary schools. It is supported by funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Government Department of Education, and Macquarie University.

PAVe will evaluate two evidence-based programs in schools:

  • Friendly Schools Plus: a strengths-based, whole-of-school program designed to enhance students’ social and emotional learning and foster the prevention of bullying behaviours;
  • Cool Kids: Taking Control: a strengths-based, targeted program designed to build resilience in those children who have been targeted by bullying behaviours

These programs will help schools reduce all forms of bullying by developing student’s social and emotional learning, building positive peer relationships, and empowering students to cope successfully with difficult situations.

The program that each school will receive is decided randomly. Schools will have an equal chance of receiving the Friendly Schools Plus and/or Cool Kids: Taking Control programs.

Friendly Schools Plus Program

Friendly Schools Plus is an Australian whole-of-school program developed and empirically tested over a 13-year period with over 20,000 Australian children by Winthrop Professor Donna Cross and her colleagues. It aims to build students’ social skills and enhance their relationships while also reducing bullying and its associated consequences.

The program targets four main levels:

  • the school level where pastoral care staff are provided with resources and trained in ways to assess their school’s strengths and needs and implement the parts of the program they need
  • the family level where resources are provided to help raise parents’ awareness of their children’s social development and to enhance their ability to communicate with children about pro-social behaviours and ways to avoid or deal effectively with anti-social behaviours, especially bullying
  • the classroom level where students in grades 4 and 5 will be provided with 8-10 hours of classroom learning to formally develop and practice positive social behaviour and skills to build reciprocated friendships and deal with bullying, including as a bystander, and showing empathy for students who are targets of bullying. 
  • the student level where selected activities are used to support victimized students and to help modify the behaviour of students who bully others.

The whole-of-school program is supported by training for classroom teachers and school personnel and many quality resources for students, parents, and teachers.

Cool Kids Taking Control Program

The targeted program is designed to help those students who have been frequent targets of bullying. The program is a modification of the well-established Cool Kids program developed at Macquarie University in Sydney. Cool Kids: Taking Control is a self-help program that involves 10 x 40 minute lessons covering education about bullying and anxiety, activities to help parents teach their child to manage his or her anxiety, child management and interaction skills for parents, and general social skills for children. Parents of students in each of these schools will receive detailed information materials and extensive practice exercises delivered via the Internet, with specific components also directed to their children.

The students and their parents who will be actively involved in this component will be identified through their response to the research survey. Children will be invited to participate in Cool Kids: Taking Control if they have a high survey score for both anxiety and victimization after they complete the first survey. The program will be conducted by parents outside school so that only the school executive, counsellor and the investigators will be aware of which children are in the targeted program.

The program will be supported by school counsellors and a member of the pastoral care executive who attend a one-day training workshop conducted by the researchers. Each parent will receive 2-3 scheduled phone calls with their school counsellor / trained staff member at key points in the program to discuss goals and problem-solve difficulties. Parents will also be encouraged to contact the school counsellor for additional advice as needed.

What outcomes should schools expect by participating in PAVe?

  • development of students’ social and emotional competencies
  • improved student recognition and regulation of emotions
  • positive peer relationships in the playground
  • increased resilience and self-concept for students
  • a reduction in bullying behaviours at your school

The Friendly Schools Plus and/or the Cool Kids: Taking Control resources and training will be provided free of charge to all participating schools.

What do I do now?

If you would like more information, contact the project manager, Dr Sally Fitzpatrick, on (02) 9850 8097 or email: sally.fitzpatrick@mq.edu.au. This PDF will provide further detailed information.

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