Professor Catherine Haslam

Director of Research Higher Degrees

School of Psychology
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
c.haslam@uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 67565

Overview

I have worked in both the clinical and academic fields of clinical psychology, in Australia and the UK, before joining UQ in 2012. My research investigates the cognitive and social consequences of trauma and disease in neurological populations, and also on identity-cognition relationships in aging. In this work I have addressed questions about the integrity of cogntiive ability, notably memory, and its rehabilitation, but also the impact that impairment of these abilities have on personal andsocial identity.

Research Interests

  • Social identity and the social determinants of health
    There are several strands of this research. The first investigates the impact that identity processes have on cognitive integrity, mental health, and well-being following life change. A second strand investigates the impact of social group-based interventions, that build new social identities and provide people with the skills for effective use of these psychological resources to protect health and well-being. This has informed development of a new social intervention — Groups 4 Health — that aims to give people the knowledge and skills they need to independently manage their social group memberships, and the social identities that underpin them, effectively. This work has been conducted with a range of clinical and non-clinical populations — including older adults in the community and residential care, neurological populations (acquired brain injury, dementia), people with addictions, and mental health populations (notably, depression) — using cross-sectional, longitudinal and experimental methodologies.
  • Neuro-rehabilitation
    This research addresses the treatment of neurological disorders in people with stable and progressive conditions across the lifespan. My particular focus is on memory rehabilitation and involves exploration of theory relevant to memory enhancement and its intervention through use of learning principles and instructive techniques (errorless learning, spaced retrieval, and vanishing cues).

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosphy, Australian National University
  • Master of Clinical Psychology, Macquarie University
  • Bachelor of Science with 2nd class Honours, The University of Sydney

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Retirement is an inevitable part of aging for most people, but successful adjustment is far from straightforward. About 30 percent of people find the transition highly stressful and experience a marked reduction in well-being and this is despite engaging in financial planning. As these data, suggest successful transition into retirement is about much more than having enough money. Recent research has begun to focus on the role of social factors given the upheaval that this significant life change imposes on our social networks. Supporting this development are emerging data showing that people who maintain and extend their social ties, especially those with social groups (e.g., work/ professional, friendship, community groups), live longer and have a better quality of life after retirement. So what is it about these social group networks that promotes health and well-being in the retirement transition? This is the key question that this project will address.

    This project will draw on recent data from UK, US and Australian populations to examine the extent to which changes in our social group relationships as we retire affects adjustment. It aims to improve understanding of the nature and size of that influence to more effectively manage that social change with a view to optimising adjustment, health, and well-being as we age into retirement. The Social Identity Model of Identity Change (SIMIC) provides a framework to investigate these issues as it specifies mechanisms that can buffer the effects of social group change in life transitions. It has yet to be fully interrogated in the retirement context and this will provide the theoretical focus for the project.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

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.

  • Retirement is an inevitable part of aging for most people, but successful adjustment is far from straightforward. About 30 percent of people find the transition highly stressful and experience a marked reduction in well-being and this is despite engaging in financial planning. As these data, suggest successful transition into retirement is about much more than having enough money. Recent research has begun to focus on the role of social factors given the upheaval that this significant life change imposes on our social networks. Supporting this development are emerging data showing that people who maintain and extend their social ties, especially those with social groups (e.g., work/ professional, friendship, community groups), live longer and have a better quality of life after retirement. So what is it about these social group networks that promotes health and well-being in the retirement transition? This is the key question that this project will address.

    This project will draw on recent data from UK, US and Australian populations to examine the extent to which changes in our social group relationships as we retire affects adjustment. It aims to improve understanding of the nature and size of that influence to more effectively manage that social change with a view to optimising adjustment, health, and well-being as we age into retirement. The Social Identity Model of Identity Change (SIMIC) provides a framework to investigate these issues as it specifies mechanisms that can buffer the effects of social group change in life transitions. It has yet to be fully interrogated in the retirement context and this will provide the theoretical focus for the project.