Professors and Lecturers

Professor Suzanne McLaren

BA(Hons), PhD

Port Macquarie
Building 802

Suzanne completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Ballarat (1989), before moving to the University of Tasmania to complete her honours (1990) and PhD (1997), both in the area of stress and coping among police officers. She returned to the University of Ballarat for her first academic position in 1995, and remained there for 24.5 years. During this time, she fulfilled a range of roles, including Fourth Year Psychology Programs Co-ordinator, Associate Dean (Research), and Chair of the University’s Research Committee.  For the last 7.5 years of her appointment, Suzanne was the Head of Psychology. In this role, she led Psychology through the expansion to a multi-campus discipline, and through a major organisational change with the formation of Federation University Australia in 2014. She also successfully developed and implemented a strategic plan to increase research performance and impact.

Suzanne recently commenced at CSU in a role focused on research, supervising research students and mentoring staff, particularly in the area of research.


Suzanne’s main areas of teaching include Health and Developmental Psychology, and LGBTIQA+ issues in Psychology. Most of her teaching is supervision of research students.

Research Interests

Suzanne’s main research interests are within the broad field of adult mental health. She is particularly interested in investigating the processes by which risk and protective factors influence mental health. Within this resilience framework, Suzanne has researched the influence that various social relationships (e.g., sense of belonging, social support, and relationship quality) have on the association between risk (e.g., depression) and outcome (e.g., suicidal ideation). Her research investigates resilience among a range of adult samples, with older adults and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans and gender diverse adults featuring prominently in her work. Recent work has focused on Joiner’s Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide. Suzanne offers postgraduate supervision within the broad context of resilience, which could include variables such as place of residence/geographical remoteness; living arrangements (alone/with others); social relationships, especially sense of belonging; depression; suicide; reasons for living; sexual orientation; and older adults.

Professional Activities

Suzanne is a registered psychologist, with health endorsement. She is a member of the American Association of Suicidology, the (Australian) Suicide Prevention Research Leaders’ Network, and the Australian Psychological Society.

Recent Publications

Snooks, M., & McLaren, S. (accepted). Dispositional optimism and suicide among trans and gender diverse adults. Death Studies.

McLaren, S., & Castillo, P. (2020). The relationship between a sense of belonging to the LGBTIQ+ community, internalised heterosexism, and depressive symptoms among bisexual and lesbian women. Journal of Bisexuality.

McLaren, S. (2020). Rurality, reasons for living, and suicidal ideation among Australian men. Death Studies.

Hodgetts, J., McLaren, S., Bice, B., & Trezise, A. (2020). The relationship between self-compassion, rumination, and depressive symptoms among older adults: The moderating role of gender. Aging and Mental Health.

Snooks, M. P., & McLaren, S. (2020). Resilience among trans and gender diverse adults: The protective role of dispositional hope in the perceived burdensomeness-suicide relationship. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.

McLaren, S. (2020). The relationship between living alone and depressive symptoms among older gay men: The moderating role of age. Journal of Homosexuality.

McLaren, S., & Castillo, P. (2020). What about me? Sense of belonging and depressive symptoms among bisexual women. Journal of Bisexuality,20, 166-182.

Sadler, P., McLaren, S., Klein, B., & Jenkins, M. (2020). Cognitive behaviour therapy for insomnia and depression: Qualitative reflections from older adults who participated in a randomised control trial. Aging and Mental Health, 24, 932-938.

McLaren, S. (2020). The relationship between living alone and depressive symptoms among older men: The moderating role of sexual orientation. Aging and Mental Health, 24, 103-109.

A full list of Suzanne's publications can be accessed at -

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