Dr Koa Whittingham

Senior Research Fellow

Child Health Research Centre
Faculty of Medicine
koawhittingham@uq.edu.au
+61 7 3069 7346

Overview

I am a senior research fellow at the Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre within the UQ Child Health Research Centre in the Faculty of Medicine. My research spans three key areas: (1) parenting, transition to parenting, and parenting intervention, (2) neurodevelopmental disabilities including autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury and prematurity and (3) acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and related therapies. I am especially passionate about the application of ACT to parenting. I am the author of Becoming Mum, a self-help book for the transition to motherhood grounded in ACT and the first author of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy the Clinician's Guide for Supporting Parents.

Research Interests

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
    Particularly the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to enhance parenting, the parent-child relationship or parental adjustment
  • Mindfulness
    Particularly the use of mindfulness to enhance parenting, the parent-child relationship or parental adjustment
  • Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
    Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Acquired Brain Injury, infants at risk of neurodevelopmental disability including due to prematurity
  • Parenting
    Parenting, parent-child relationships, parenting interventions, the transition to parenthood, parent-infant sleep

Research Impacts

I am the author of Becoming Mum, a self-help book for the transition to motherhood grounded in ACT and the first author of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy the Clinician's Guide for Supporting Parents. I have an interest in developing online interventions using the platform EdX.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science, The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science with Honour Class C1, The University of Queensland

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • We are currently developing and piloting an online, translatable by design parenting course grounded in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. We are developing the online course (PARENT101x Parenting with Purpose) using the EdX platform with the vision that it will one day be released as a MOOC (massive open online course). We are initially piloting the course with families of children with cerebral palsy (2-6yo) in a randomised controlled trial. however, PARENT101x is being developed to be suitable for all parents. There are opportunities for RHD students within the current project and in testing PARENT101x with other groups in the future. This is an excellent opportunity for students with a keen intrest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and parenting.

  • Working together with the not-for-profit organstion Possums and a wider research team, I am building contextual behavioural science (including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) into a new and interdisplinary approach to postnatal care. We are currently collecting data on the experiences of mothers and babies who access Possums services including face to face and individual consultations, group sessions and the Possums Sleep Film. We are also collecting data on the experiences of health professionals, trained in the new Possums approach. Notably, we have developed a novel approach to parent-infant sleep. There are opportunities for RHD students to become invovled in analysing aspects of the data currently under collection, and to undertake novel research ideas on the Possums approach including studying our new approach to parent-infant sleep. We would also be delighted to hear from potential RHD students with innovative new ideas in the field of postnatal care.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • We are currently developing and piloting an online, translatable by design parenting course grounded in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. We are developing the online course (PARENT101x Parenting with Purpose) using the EdX platform with the vision that it will one day be released as a MOOC (massive open online course). We are initially piloting the course with families of children with cerebral palsy (2-6yo) in a randomised controlled trial. however, PARENT101x is being developed to be suitable for all parents. There are opportunities for RHD students within the current project and in testing PARENT101x with other groups in the future. This is an excellent opportunity for students with a keen intrest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and parenting.

  • Working together with the not-for-profit organstion Possums and a wider research team, I am building contextual behavioural science (including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) into a new and interdisplinary approach to postnatal care. We are currently collecting data on the experiences of mothers and babies who access Possums services including face to face and individual consultations, group sessions and the Possums Sleep Film. We are also collecting data on the experiences of health professionals, trained in the new Possums approach. Notably, we have developed a novel approach to parent-infant sleep. There are opportunities for RHD students to become invovled in analysing aspects of the data currently under collection, and to undertake novel research ideas on the Possums approach including studying our new approach to parent-infant sleep. We would also be delighted to hear from potential RHD students with innovative new ideas in the field of postnatal care.