Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Dr Donnah Anderson

Dr Donnah Anderson

Dip. Prof. Couns; BA Hons (Psychology); PhD

Profile

Dr Donnah Anderson began work as a lecturer within the School of Psychology at CSU, Port Macquarie in 2016. This followed three years working as a full-time researcher in the Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University. Donnah’s research takes an interdisciplinary approach that bridges psychology, sociology and education. She has a particular interest in children and young people’s rights, voice and wellbeing and has worked on a range of collaborative mixed-method research projects with local, national and international scope.

Donnah is a passionate teacher who delivers undergraduate subjects in psychology – including research methods and statistics, psychology of learning, and other psychology subjects. She enjoys helping students overcome their fear of statistics and also supervises honours and masters students in their psychology research projects. Donnah is strongly committed to her students’ learning and their personal and professional growth.

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Teaching

  • PSY201 and PSY451: Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology
  • PSY301: Advanced Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology
  • PSY308: Psychology of Learning

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Research

Donnah’s research takes an interdisciplinary approach that bridges psychology, sociology and education. She has a particular interest in children and young people’s rights, voice, and wellbeing, and the adults who work with or care for them.

After completing her PhD at the University of New England, NSW in 2012, Donnah held a research position at the Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University for three years where she worked with an interdisciplinary team. Donnah continues her work with the CCYP team on several research projects. The current project is:

Beyond Safety: Ethical Practice Involving Children (the EPIC project). ARC Discovery (DP180100465).

The recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has clearly identified children’s safety in institutions as an area requiring urgent attention. This project aims to investigate the role of ethical practice in improving child safety. Ethical understandings and practice are being explored in three institutional contexts – schools, residential care and disability services. Focusing especially on those who are at greater risk of harm the findings will contribute to ensuring Australia’s children are safe and treated with dignity and respect. Expected outcomes include better-targeted, child-informed policy and practice for organisations involved with children.

Duration The project is funded for 3 years (2018 – 2020)
Funding $463,136.00
The Research TeamProfessor Anne Graham: Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University.
Professor Sally Robinson: Flinders University
Dr Timothy Moore: University of South Australia
Professor Nigel Thomas: University of Central Lancashire UK
Dr Donnah Anderson: Charles Sturt University
Assoc. Professor Nicola Taylor: University of Otago.
Research Questions 1. What are the key elements of a ‘child-safe’ organisation in the current Australian context and how can these be better articulated, enshrined and evaluated given similar developments in other international jurisdictions (NZ, England and Wales)?
 
2. How do children and practitioners in different institutional settings understand and experience ‘ethical’ practice with regard to children’s safety and wellbeing and what do they perceive to be the challenges, barriers and enablers?

3. What elements of ethical practice contribute most strongly to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people, and what role do relationships play in mediating ethical practice, safety and wellbeing?

4. What are the implications of this knowledge about ethical practice for realising the key policy objectives of building ‘child-safe’ organisations within Australia?
Other major projects that Donnah has worked on with the Centre for Children and Young People include:
  • 2014-2017: Improving wellbeing through student participation at school. ARC Linkage: (LP 140100540). This Australian Research Council (ARC) funded study explored how student participation (also known as student voice) is currently understood and experienced in NSW schools. Utilising a mixed-methods approach, and informed by Axel Honneth’s recognition theory, the research investigated the links between student participation and wellbeing. It was supported by the following partners: NSW Department of Education, Catholic Schools Office, Lismore, NSW Office of the Advocate for Children & Young People.
  • 2012-2014: Improving approaches to wellbeing in schools: What role does recognition play? ARC Linkage (LP 110200656). The project produced systematic policy and practice-relevant evidence to advance the way children’s ‘wellbeing’ is understood and approached in schools. The research drew upon insights from principals, teachers, students and existing policies, together with key ideas offered through recognition theory and Childhood Studies.  This study is the largest in Australia to date to invite students’ views about wellbeing in schools and, importantly, to identify similarities and differences between teacher and student views, and how these broadly align with current policy perspectives. The three partner organisations were the Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Lismore; Interrelate; and Good Grief Ltd.
  • 2012-2014 Ethical Research Involving Children: The ERIC project was a 2 year international project in partnership with UNICEF's Office of Research, Childwatch International Research Network, and the University of Otago. A key output of this project is an International Charter for Ethical Research Involving Children, including a print-based compendium and website (www.childethics.com).
Research Supervision:

Donnah also supervises honours and masters students in psychology in a broad range of quantitative and mixed method research projects. The topics of her recent research students are:

  • Melinda Phillips: Secondary traumatic stress and compassion fatigue resilience in school teachers following student suicide or suicidal behaviour.
  • Eleina Littlejohns: Preventative factors in teacher burnout: Structural, relational, and cognitive social capital.
  • Amelia Mitchell: Boarding students’ wellbeing at school
  • Nicole Ingram-Bennett: Mothers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Predicting health promoting behaviours
  • Sarah Dyball:  Contemporary parenting styles and practices: Predictions of resilience, anxiety and depression in adolescents
  • Alison Weber: Student participation and wellbeing: The mediating role of self-efficacy and recognition
  • Samantha Kourakis: Parent views on school climate: Relations with students’ social and emotional absences
  • Celia Coates: Teachers’ understanding of the effect of trauma on adolescents
  • Liam Casey: Australian psychology students’ knowledge, attitudes, and stereotypical beliefs about lesbian women and gay men

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Publications

For updates see: https://researchoutput.csu.edu.au/en/persons/doanderscsueduau/publications/

Books
  • Graham, A., Powell, M., Taylor, N., Anderson, D. & Fitzgerald, R. (2013). Ethical research involving children. Florence: UNICEF Office of Research Innocenti. ISBN: 978-88-6522-023-8 http://childethics.com/
Book Chapters
  • Graham, A.P., Truscott, J., Powell, M.A., & Anderson, D.L. (2016). Re-framing 'behaviour' in schools: The role of recognition in improving student wellbeing. In A. Sullivan, B. Johnson & B. Lucas (Eds.) Challenging dominant views on student behaviour at school: Answering back. Springer.
Journal articles
  • Anderson, D.L., Graham, A. P., & Thomas, N. P. (in press 2019). Assessing student participation at school: Developing a multidimensional scale. International Journal of Student Voice.
  • Graham, A., Truscott, J., Simmons, C., Anderson, D., Thomas, N. (2018). Exploring student participation across different arenas of school life. British Educational Research Journal. doi: 10.1002/berj.3477
  • Dunstan, D., & Anderson, D. L. (2018). Applying Strengths Model principles to build a rural community-based mental health support service and achieve recovery outcomes. Rural and Remote Health, 18 (1), 3708. https://doi.org/10.22605/RRH3708
  • Anderson, D.L., Watt, S.E., & Shanley, D.C. (2017). Ambivalent attitudes about teaching children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. doi: 10.1080/13632752.2017.1298242
  • Graham, A., Powell, M. A., Thomas, N., & Anderson, D.L. (2016). Reframing 'wellbeing' in schools: The potential of recognition.  Cambridge Journal of Education. doi: 10.1080/0305764X.2016.1192104
  • Anderson, D.L. & Graham, A. (2015). Improving student wellbeing: Having a say at school. School Effectiveness and School Improvement. doi: 10.1080/09243453.2015.1084336
  • Dunstan, D.A., Anderson, D.L., & Marks, A.D.G. (2015). Reliability of the Emotion-Related Parenting Styles Scale across gender and parent status groups. Early Education and Development. doi: 10.1080/10409289.2015.1039435
  • Anderson, D.L., Watt, S.E., & Shanley, D.C. (2014). A multi-dimensional model of the origins of attitude certainty: Teachers' attitudes toward Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Social Psychology of Education, 17(1), 19-50. doi: 10.1007/s11218-013-9235-5
  • Dunstan, D.A., Todd, A.K., Kennedy, L.M., & Anderson, D. L. (2014). Impact and outcomes of a rural Personal Helpers and Mentors service. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 22, 50-55. doi: 10.1111/ajr.12074.
  • Anderson, D.L., Watt, S.E., Noble, W., & Shanley, D.C. (2012). Knowledge of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attitudes toward teaching children with ADHD: The role of teaching experience. Psychology in the Schools, 49, 511-525. doi: 10.1002/pits.21617
  • Anderson, D.L. & Noble, W. (2005). Couples' attributions about behaviours modulated by hearing impairment: Links with relationship satisfaction. International Journal of Audiology, 44, 197-205. doi:10.1080/14992020500057699
Reports and other publications
  • Graham, A., Simmons, C., Truscott, J., Anderson, D., & Moss, A. (2019). Student Participation: A Good Practice Guide for Schools. Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University: Lismore, Australia.
  • Simmons, C., Graham, A., Truscott, J., Anderson, D.  (June-August 2018).  Student participation and wellbeing: Launch of exciting new research. Connect: Supporting Student Participation. Number 231 – 232. pp. 5-7. ISSN:  2202-4980
  • Anderson, D., Graham, A., Simmons, C., & Gardon, L. (2018). Student Participation: Survey Information Pack for Schools [Online]. Lismore: Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University.
  • Anderson, D., Graham, A., Simmons, C., & Gardon, L. (2018). Student Participation: Survey Information Pack for Schools [Hard copy]. Lismore: Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University.
  • Anderson, D. (2018). Improving Wellbeing through Student Participation at School Phase 3 Statistical Analysis Report: Developing a reliable and valid survey. Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University: Lismore, Australia.
  • Anderson, D. (2018). Improving Wellbeing through Student Participation at School Phase 4 Survey Report: Evaluating the link between student participation and wellbeing in NSW schools. Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University: Lismore, Australia.
  • Anderson, D.L., & Graham, A. (2015). Report of findings from student survey: Student voice. Report for partners. Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University, Lismore.
  • Anderson, D.L., & Graham, A. (2015). Student engagement with Christian meditation: Teacher interviews. Report for partners. Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University, Lismore.
  • Anderson, D.L., & Graham, A. (2014). Parent-school partnership: Report of survey findings from parents, principals and clergy. Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University, Lismore.
  • Anderson, D.L., & Graham, A. (2014). Student engagement with Christian Meditation: Report of Findings from student online surveys. Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University, Lismore.
  • Graham, A., Fitzgerald, R., Powell, M., Thomas, N., Anderson, D.L., White, N.E. & Simmons, C.A. (2014). Improving approaches to wellbeing in schools: What role does recognition play? Final Report: Executive Summary. Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University, Lismore. ISBN: 978-0-9803823-6-5
  • Graham, A., Fitzgerald, R., Powell, M., Thomas, N., Anderson, D.L., White, N.E. & Simmons, C.A. (2014). Improving approaches to wellbeing in schools: What role does recognition play? Final Report:  Volume One. Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University, Lismore. ISBN: 978-0-9803823-2-7
  • Graham, A., Fitzgerald, R., Powell, M., Thomas, N., Anderson, D.L., White, N.E. & Simmons, C.A. (2014). Improving approaches to wellbeing in schools: What role does recognition play? Final Report: Volume Two. Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University, Lismore. ISBN: 978-0-9803823-3-4
  • Graham, A., Fitzgerald, R., Powell, M., Thomas, N., Anderson, D.L., White, N.E. & Simmons, C.A. (2014). Improving approaches to wellbeing in schools: What role does recognition play? Final Report: Volume Three. Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University, Lismore. ISBN: 978-0-9803823-4-1
  • Graham, A., Fitzgerald, R., Powell, M., Thomas, N., Anderson, D.L., White, N.E. & Simmons, C.A. (2014). Improving approaches to wellbeing in schools: What role does recognition play? Final Report: Volume Four. Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University, Lismore. ISBN: 978-0-9803823-5-8
  • Dunstan, D.A., & Anderson, D.L. (June, 2014). Centacare New England North West - Evaluation of programs annual report. Research Services, UNE (26 pages).
  • Dunstan, D.A., & Anderson, D.L. (Dec., 2013). Centacare New England North West - Evaluation of programs progress report. Research Services, UNE (27 pages).
  • Dunstan, D.A., & Anderson, D.L. (June, 2013). Centacare New England North West - Evaluation of programs annual report. Research Services, UNE (35 pages).
  • Dunstan, D.A., & Anderson, D.L. (June, 2013). Centacare New England North West – Annual report on Family Relationship Centre programs. Research Services, UNE (15 pages).
  • Dunstan, D.A., & Anderson, D.L. (Dec., 2012). Centacare New England North West - Evaluation of programs progress report. Research Services, UNE (42 pages).
  • Dunstan, D.A., & Anderson, D.L. (June, 2012). Centacare New England North West - Evaluation of programs annual report. Research Services, UNE (47 pages).
  • Dunstan, D.A., & Anderson, D.L. (April, 2012). Centacare New England North West – Annual report on Family Relationship Centre programs. Research Services, UNE (13 pages).
  • Dunstan, D.A., & Anderson, D.L. (Oct., 2011). Centacare New England North West – Personal Helpers and Mentors Program (Narrabri). Research Services, UNE (14 pages).
  • Dunstan, D.A., & Anderson, D.L. (March, 2011). Centacare New England North West – Annual report on Family Relationship Centre programs. Research Services, UNE (15 pages).
  • Dunstan, D.A., & Anderson, D.L. (Feb., 2011). Centacare New England North West - Evaluation of programs progress report. Research Services, UNE (29 pages).

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