Current 2017 Projects

Isabelle Sinclair (GradDip Student) & Madeleine Ely (Honours Student)

One of the few measures designed to assess a father's emotional bond to an infant is the Paternal Postpartum Attachment Scale (PPAS; Condon et al., 2008). Isabelle and Madeleine are assessing the factor structure and validity of this scale using data from the MAPP Study, the ATPG3 study and the Triple B study. In particular their research explores correlations with father-infant emotional availability assessed during parent-child videoed observations.

Tessa Harrison - Honours Student

Increasingly there is debate about whether the diagnostic criteria for depression is skewed towards women. One suggestion is that men are more likely to feel anger when depressed but this is not generally accounted for in instruments that screen for depressive symptoms. Tessa is investigating patterns of coexisting symptoms of depression and anger and exploring differences between men with and without children.

Imogene Smith (Honours Student)

An increasing number of men and women are electing to not become parents. Imogene is interviewing men who have expressed a clear intention to not have children. She will explore their reasons and ask how they envisage their future lives and social connections in a world where becoming a father is a normative milestone.


Mallika Abbott (Masters Student)

In the current socio-historical climate, masculine role expectations of fatherhood are shifting from those that were historically accepted such as provider, disciplinarian, playmate and life coach to incorporate roles that are typically associated with mothers and femininity, such as nurturer and carer for emotional health. There are conflicting arguments suggesting that this change is psychologically beneficial, or in contrast, that the new role expectations add stress to new fathers at a time of social and emotional upheaval. This study will investigate role identity among new fathers and its associations with risk of depression, anxiety and felt anger. 


Graduated Projects


Emily Molyneux - Honours Student

An Anchor – Grounding, or Grinding Halt: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Rural Men’s Expectations of First-Time Fatherhood’.

Emily investigated rural men’s perceptions of their future selves and their expectations of fatherhood. In 2017, Emily began her candidature in the Doctor of Clinical Psychology program at Deakin University. 


Seona Palmer - Honours Student

Stress at the Peak Age for First Time Fatherhood’.

Seona assessed differences in levels of stress experienced by men with and without children at the peak age for fatherhood (28-32 years). She also investigated whether social support from family, partner or friends reduces the risk of stress during this time of life. 

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Liel Bridgford - Honours Student

Anxiety at the Prime age for the Transition to Fatherhood and the Buffering Role of Environmental Mastery and Purpose in Life’.

Liel assessed anxiety, mastery, and purpose in life in men with and without children. In 2017, Liel is working for Panda - Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia



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Dani Ryan - Honours Student

‘Men’s Desire to Have Children at the Peak Age for Becoming a Father’.

Dani presented her research findings to the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health Inc. National Conference.  

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Chris Kings - Honours Student

‘On Becoming a Father: An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis of Young Men’s Expectations of Their Future Role as a Parent.’

Chris presented his research findings to the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health Inc. National Conference. 

Chris’s research is now published in the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity. The paper title is: The "Sensory Deprivation Tank": An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Men's Expectations of First-Time Fatherhood.

In 2016 Chris began his candidature in the Doctor of Clinical Psychology program at Deakin University.

Read more about Chris's research project.