Research Students

Return to Health Economics and Social Policy home page

James Doidge

My doctoral research is examining the ‘Pathways between child maltreatment, health and socioeconomic disadvantage in Australia’.  My research aims to support programs and policies that prevent child maltreatment or its associated consequences, by examining risk factors for child maltreatment and measuring some of its long-term costs. This is being achieved through two quite different projects: a collaboration with a long-standing cohort study, the Australian Temperament Project, and a landmark data linkage project, utilising population-level administrative data from a range of South Australian institutions and registries. My research is being supervised by Professor Leonie Segal and Associate Professor Paul Delfabbro and I plan to submit my thesis in December 2015.

After following an undergraduate degree in Health Sciences with a Masters in Health Economics and Policy, my professional work and further training has had a strong undercurrent of methodology. I balance interests in public health and statistics with an enthusiasm for combining recreation, health and community activation through circus arts. I have been a Research Associate in the Health Economics and Social Policy Group since 2010 and you can visit my staff profile here.

Tamara Agnew, BA (Hons)

Tamara is a PhD Candidate within HESPG, under the supervision of Professor Leonie Segal and Dr Matthew Leach.  She has a first class honours degree from Edinburgh Napier University where she studied Health Science with a focus on Complementary Healthcare. The title of her PhD research is “The clinical and cost effectiveness of essential oils and aromatherapy for the treatment of acne vulgaris”.  This randomised controlled trial is based on in vitro evidence of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of essential oils; we aim to explore the clinical effect of essential oils on the symptoms of acne vulgaris. This is the first study to examine the value of the aromatherapy consultation, and whether this improves outcomes over and above essential oil use, alone.  An unlikely consequence of this study is the Adelaide Acne CliNical Evaluation (AACNE) scale, a new tool to measure acne severity in the clinical trial setting, and Tamara is currently working on a manuscript on the development of this tool.  Tamara’s research has been supported by the UniSAPA scholarship and the study has the generous support of the Sydney Essential Oil Company and communication designer Justin Heffernan.

Tamara has recently published her first manuscript, “The Clinical Impact and Cost-Effectiveness of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy for the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris: A Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial” in the prestigious Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.  While completing her thesis, she has been invited to contribute to an aromatherapy text book, and to peer review articles for academic journals.  She is passionate about complementary medicine and evidence based practice, regulation, and promoting professionalism within the complementary medicine industry, and she is very keen to grow her research profile in this exciting new academic field. She also enjoys teaching students about the value of research, and has had contract positions within the school of Nursing and Midwifery, teaching students about the foundations of research. 

In her spare time, Tamara enjoys good music and good movies, a good meal, and a glass of Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc. She can often be found in the park or at the beach, hanging out with her two young daughters; she is happy to discuss the pros and cons of PhD success and motherhood with anyone who might care to join in the conversation!

She will submit her thesis in November 2014.

Agnew, T., Leach, M., & Segal, L. (2014). The Clinical Impact and Cost-Effectiveness of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy for the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris: A Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 20(5), 399-405.

Jackie Amos

I am a senior Child and Adolescent psychiatrist, working in the Women’s and Children’s Local Health Network Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. I have worked with individuals and families struggling with the effects of interpersonal violence, neglect, and abuse for the past 20 years, as a psychotherapist and psychiatrist. For the past 12 years I have been leading the development of Parallel Parent and Child Therapy (P-PACT) for mothers and their children aged 3 – 12 years, struggling with the effects of intergenerational abuse and neglect: including complex mental health diagnoses, severely distressing mother child relationships and in some cases, ongoing maltreatment of the child by the mother.

My doctoral research is investigating the mechanisms of action of P-PACT. The research aims to generate an understanding of the necessary components of any effective psychotherapeutic treatment for this population, for whom treatment options are currently limited. The research programme is theoretical, drawing on attachment theory, evolutionary and cross species understandings of behaviour, developmental psychopathology and trauma theory. The research has been undertaken in three stages (i) building a model of pathways and mechanism contributing to ongoing maltreatment in these mother chid dyads, (ii) revising the understanding by incorporating evolutionary models of social styles or modes  in  group living mammals and (iii) mapping our extensive clinical experience with P-PACT against the theoretical model to understand the treatment more fully and generate principles that could guide treatment efforts for this population in other settings. To date the research has yielded two publications:

Amos J., Furber, G. & Segal, L. (2011) Understanding maltreating mothers: a synthesis of relational trauma, attachment disorganisation, structural dissociation of the personality and experiential avoidance. Journal of trauma and dissociation, 12   495 – 509 

Amos J., Segal L., & Cantor, C. (2014) Entrapped mother, entrapped child: agonic mode, hierarchy and appeasement in intergenerational abuse and neglect. Journal of child and family studies (published online 29/03/2014)


Prof Leonie Segal, Dr Gareth Furber and Dr Chris Cantor

Caitlin Dowell

Caitlin has a BHSc (Hons) from the University of South Australia and an LLB from the University of Adelaide. Her PhD project is titled 'Children of incarcerated mothers: How does the Australian criminal justice system perform in improving outcomes for children affected by maternal incarceration?' The central aims of the project are to measure the impact of a mother’s incarceration on the long term social, health and economic outcomes for the child and society, and to ascertain whether ‘family friendly’ prison policies can help improve these outcomes. She will submit her thesis in June 2016.


Australian Postgraduate Award Research Scholarship


Prof Leonie Segal, Prof David Preen, Dr Kim Dalziel

Return to Health Economics and Social Policy home page

Areas of study and research

+ Click to minimise