Wellbeing Research Group

Wellbeing is a multidisciplinary issue, requiring a multidisciplinary team to address the complexity of emerging issues associated with it. The Wellbeing Research Group brings together researchers who have expertise in the physical, social, emotional, spiritual, educational and mental health aspects of young people’s lives. Their extensive research networks contribute to the value-added added reach and impact  of this group.

Having a physically, socially, and emotionally well civic society has significant social and economic benefits. There is increasing evidence of the inter-relationships between wellbeing and learner achievement, with a real need to focus on supporting young people as they encounter mental health issues so that they can maximise their potential.

The increasing role that wellbeing research plays in informing national policy and curriculum development is evidenced through such initiatives as: the National  Safe Schools  Framework (http://www.safeschoolshub.edu.au/) ; the new national Curriculum; mental health programs in general; the national research agendas such as those aligned with the Cooperative Research Centre: Young and Well (http://www.yawcrc.org.au), increased funding for schools around physical, social, mental health and wellbeing as prevention or intervention measures and strategies (e.g. KidsMatter; MindMatters) combine to provide a strategic opportunity to:

  • contribute to addressing this issue which has been recognised nationally to be of social and economic significance, and
  • prepare our graduates with the knowledge and skills to support these initiatives (see 1-8 below).

The Wellbeing Research Group, through its multidisciplinary work and national and international networks, will work towards addressing  address such overarching questions as:

  • What is the nature of current and emerging wellbeing issues facing young people as they develop?
  • What are the impacts of wellbeing on learning and educational outcomes?
  • What early intervention and proactive strategies can be employed for sustained wellbeing?
  • How can the educational,  physical, mental, social, spiritual and emotional wellbeing of teachers be enhanced?

Strengths: wellbeing, cyber-bullying, inclusion
Emerging themes: mental health, gender influences, effects of trauma

Key Research Areas

Current research interests/focus areas connected with our multidisciplinary approach to Wellbeing are, among others:

  • Bullying and Cyberbullying
  • Peer Relationships and Friendships
  • Improved mental health
  • Gender
  • Inclusion
  • Citizenship
  • Physical health and wellbeing
  • Test Anxiety and Assessment
  • Pre-service Teachers’ Perspectives of their own wellbeing
  • Arts and Cultural contributions to wellbeing


Barbara Spears (Group Leader)
Debbie Price (Deputy Group Leader)

Alexander Stretton
Alexandra Diamond
Carmel Taddeo
Jane Webb-Williams
Jeff Meiners
Larisa Karklins
Marnie Best
Susanne Owen
Alison Wrench (Affiliate)
Andrew Peterson (Affiliate)
Deborah Green (Affiliate)
Elspeth McInnes (Affiliate)
Hannah Soong (Affiliate)
Lesley –Ann Ey (Affiliate)
Robyne Garrett (Affiliate)
Sarah Quinn (Affiliate)
Tony Daly (Affiliate - UniSA, Centre for Work + Life)

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