My Work focuses on children, adolescents and their families.
In the last decade, I have worked in various settings including the public service, private practice, university education and clinical supervision. I came to UTS in 2014 and in 2015 established UTS: Family Child Behaviour.
I have developed and delivered clinical services for parents and their children, for adolescents, and for families and carers. I have worked with children with complex trauma, with Aboriginal Australians in rural and remote contexts, delivered and evaluated Out of Home Care services for young people, and worked with parents and carers in addressing social, emotional and behavioural problems in their children. My particular interest is early intervention with toddlers showing social, emotional and/or behavioural difficulties, and the role parents/carers can play in shifting these.
I am an endorsed as a Clinical Psychologist and as a supervisor with the Psychology Board of Australia. I currently supervise clinical trainees as well as Master’s and PhD research. I have qualifications in Film and Television, Education and Clinical Psychology and my PhD research looked at the development of substance use and mental health in young people.
2007 Doctor of Philosophy (Psychology), University of New South Wales
2003 M. Psych (Clinical), University of New South Wales
1999 B.A. (Hons), University of Queensland
1992 Bachelor Film & Television, University of Melbourne
1988 B.A. (Double Major Education and Psychology), University of Canterbury
ACPA (Australian Clinical Psychology Association) Founding Member
MAPS (Member Australian Psychological Society)
Member, APS College of Clinical Psychologists
Endorsement by Psychology Board of Australia in the area of Clinical Psychology
Approved by the Psychology Board of Australia as a Clinical Supervisor
Can supervise: YES
Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Early intervention and parenting
96044 - Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology
96053 - Advanced Clinical Skills 1
96047 - Clinical Placement 1
96073 - Clinical Placement 2
BACKGROUND:Elevated antenatal distress has been associated with negative outcomes for both mothers and, as a result, their infants. One mechanism hypothesised to underlie these associations is the maternal hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis. Though research has examined whether biopsychosocial antenatal interventions can reduce maternal HPA activity, only one review has summarized the nature of findings to date. The present study examined randomised control trials (RCTs) specifically; our primary aim was to assess the effectiveness of antenatal interventions in reducing HPA activity in pregnant women, our secondary aim was to examine whether antenatal interventions reduced maternal self-report of depression and/or anxiety. METHODS:This study systematically reviewed RCTs that evaluated biopsychosocial interventions that reported subjective and objective markers of maternal distress in pregnant women within the clinical population. RESULTS:Eight studies met inclusion criteria and women were in their second or third trimester. HPA-activity was primarily assessed through salivary cortisol (n = 7) and self-reported maternal distress was assessed using a variety of validated screening measures. Included trials demonstrated significant methodological heterogeneity and small sample sizes, poor treatment adherence, and poor reliability in cortisol measurement indicated low methodological quality. CONCLUSIONS:Due to the high heterogeneity across studies, small sample sizes, and unreliable sampling methods, firm conclusions about the efficacy and effectiveness of antenatal interventions cannot be drawn. Despite this, interventions which targeted pregnancy-specific influencers of maternal mood were more likely to result in reduced depression and anxiety symptomatology as reported by mothers.
Kemmis-Riggs, J, Grove, R, McAloon, J & Berle, D 2020, 'Early Parenting Characteristics Associated with Internalizing Symptoms Across Seven Waves of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children', JOURNAL OF ABNORMAL CHILD PSYCHOLOGY.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Casey, LJ, Wootton, BM & McAloon, J 2020, 'Mental Health, Minority Stress, and the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey: A Longitudinal Study', AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ORTHOPSYCHIATRY, vol. 90, no. 5, pp. 546-556.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Abdelraheem, M, McAloon, J & Shand, F 2019, 'Mediating and moderating variables in the prediction of self-harm in young people: A systematic review of prospective longitudinal studies.', Journal of affective disorders, vol. 246, pp. 14-28.View/Download from: Publisher's site
BACKGROUND:Self-harm is widespread amongst young people. A growing body of research has explored factors that predict self-harm in young people, however, a systematic review of mediators and moderators of those factors has not yet been offered. This review aims to fill this gap by synthesising research about mediators and moderators of factors that prospectively predict self-harm in young people. METHOD:A systematic review of research trials published up until 2018 was undertaken. Electronic databases Scopus (Elsevier), CINAHL, PsychINFO (EBSCO) and Medline were searched. Included studies utilised prospective longitudinal designs with participants aged 25 years or younger and self-harm outcome measures with published or reported psychometric properties. The aim of the review was to identify mediators and moderators of factors that predict self-harm in young people. RESULTS:Of the 25 studies that met inclusion criteria, 22 reported at least one positive finding of a mediator or moderator. Specifically, 15 significant mediators and 20 significant moderators were identified in relation to a broad range of predictors of self-harm. Predictors were classified as adverse childhood experiences and parenting factors, psychological and psychiatric factors, social factors and intrapersonal factors. A number of potentially modifiable mediators and moderators were identified including interpersonal difficulties, impulsivity, self-esteem and self-compassion. Gender was the most commonly reported moderator. LIMITATIONS:Included studies were assessed as limited by the heterogeneity of the mediators and moderators assessed, and by methodological factors including study durations, population characteristics, and the definition and assessment of self-harm. In addition, replication research was limited. Therefore it was difficult to integrate results and draw firm conclusions. CONCLUSIONS:This review allowed us to explore diverse relationships between factors predictive of self-harm...
McAloon, J & Lazarou, KD 2019, 'Preventative Intervention for Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties in Toddlers and Their Families: A Pilot Study.', International journal of environmental research and public health, vol. 16, no. 4.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Preventative intervention early in life is key to interrupting trajectories toward subsequent emotional and behavioural problems later in life. This study examined the effectiveness of the Holding Hands program, an innovative program of preventative intervention aimed at improving the behavioural and emotional functioning of 12 to 48-month-old toddlers, and the wellbeing of their parents. This program seeks to synthesise the existing evidence in four ways; it incorporates both traditional Parent Management Training and Direct Coaching methods. It is intensive, significantly reducing session numbers and it explicitly addresses parental emotion regulation. The program also utilises operant learning principals in an effort to contingently reinforce behaviour that parents want to see more of, without employing exclusionary strategies in response to behavior that parents want to see less of. Thirty-one families, with a toddler who met clinical or sub-clinical cut-offs for externalising or internalising problems, were self- or externally-referred to the six- to eight-week program. Results indicated statistically significant improvement in toddler emotional and behavioural functioning, and parent well-being on a range of psychometric measures from pre- to post-treatment. Treatment gains were maintained for parents and children at follow-up. Implications of these findings for clinical practice and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Van Der Pol-Harney, E & McAloon, J 2019, 'Psychosocial Interventions for Mental Illness among LGBTQIA Youth: A PRISMA-Based Systematic Review', Adolescent Research Review, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 149-168.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Dickes, A, Kemmis-Riggs, J & McAloon, TJ 2018, 'Methodological Challenges to the Evaluation of Interventions for Foster/ Kinship Carers and Children: A Systematic Review', Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 109-145.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Caregivers of children in alternative care face a complex range of challenges that can result in placement disruption and poor long-term outcomes. Interventions designed to help carers meet these challenges report positive outcomes. Nevertheless, several reviewers have reported these positive results may be mitigated by limitations in trial methodology. This review aims to systematically review these methodological challenges and limitations, to provide an analysis of the current state of the evidence base for these interventions. A systematic review was conducted into the methods used to evaluate the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for foster and kinship carers. Limitations relating to internal validity, external validity and clinical heterogeneity were identified and synthesised. Seventeen studies met inclusion criteria. The quality of methods used in the included studies is mixed, with high and unknown levels of bias in the majority of trials. Heterogeneity in participant characteristics, intervention aims and outcome measures across interventions reflect the diversity of carer and child needs and make it difficult to generalise results or compare and synthesise the efficacy of different interventions. These factors limit the application of trial results to evidence-based clinical practice. The diverse and complex needs of this population present significant challenges to robustly evaluating interventions for foster/kinship families. Participant needs, theoretical approaches, intervention aims and outcome measures need to be better coordinated, both within trials and across the field. Exploratory research should be used to generate focussed and concrete hypotheses that can be robustly tested in high-quality randomised controlled trials. Protocol registration number: CRD 42017048415.
Kemmis-Riggs, J, Dickes, A & McAloon, J 2018, 'Program Components of Psychosocial Interventions in Foster and Kinship Care: A Systematic Review', CLINICAL CHILD AND FAMILY PSYCHOLOGY REVIEW, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 13-40.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Nguyen, S-A & McAloon, J 2018, 'A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Parental Perceptions of Childhood Separation Anxiety Disorder Symptoms and Likelihood to Seek Help', Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 453-469.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This study examined cross-cultural differences in parental interpretations of childhood separation anxiety disorder (SAD) symptoms and their subsequent likelihood to seek help or advice. It also assessed level of acculturation to Western society as a potential predictor of Asian parents' judgments of perceived pathology and likelihood to seek help. A total of 108 Caucasian and Asian parents were presented with a vignette of a child displaying behaviors indicative of SAD and asked to rate their level of perceived pathology and likelihood to seek help. Results showed that Caucasian and Asian parents gave similar ratings of perceived pathology. However, Caucasian parents reported a greater likelihood to seek help or advice for SAD symptoms than Asian parents. Level of acculturation to Western society was not a statistically significant predictor of Asian parents' perceptions and likelihood to seek help, above and beyond the variance explained by demographic factors and level of shame associated with help seeking. Although conclusions are discussed in light of methodological limitations, these preliminary findings highlight the importance of considering cultural factors when investigating children's access to mental health services, especially when the presenting issue is SAD.
Lucas, C, Williams, KA, McAloon, J & Walpola, R 2018, 'From expectations to experience: Pharmacy students' perceptions on experiential placements', Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, vol. 14, no. 8, pp. e45-e45.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Morgan, C, Mason, E, Newby, JM, Mahoney, AEJ, Hobbs, MJ, McAloon, J & Andrews, G 2017, 'The effectiveness of unguided internet cognitive behavioural therapy for mixed anxiety and depression', Internet Interventions, vol. 10, pp. 47-53.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Roth, JH, Dadds, MR & McAloon, J 2004, 'Evaluation of a puppet interview to measure young children's self-reports of temperament', BEHAVIOUR CHANGE, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 37-56.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Roth, JH, Dadds, MR, McAloon, J, Guastella, A & Weems, CF 2004, 'Prevalence and prediction of disorders in early childhood: A community study', BEHAVIOUR CHANGE, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 215-228.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Dadds, MR, Turner, CM & McAloon, J 2002, 'Developmental links between cruelty to animals and human violence', AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 363-382.
As a result of maltreatment, children in care can present with a range of complex needs and challenges. In addition to direct clinical care commonly provided by paediatricians, psychiatrists, and clinical psychologists, the provision of knowledge and skills to foster and kinship carers have become modes of support common in responding to these needs and challenges. A narrative review of key systematic reviews and empirical research was conducted to assess the effectiveness of existing foster carer interventions. Results indicated a range of methodological characteristics that limit our ability to develop a sound, research-driven, evidence base. As a result, we remain limited in our knowledge about which treatments are effective, for which symptoms they are effective, and for which population subgroups they are most likely to be effective. This review provides a summary of identified needs and challenges in the delivery of foster carer interventions. It provides an account of current treatment components and offers a platform for the development and progression of a programme of research in an effort to advance knowledge in the area.
© 2002 Editorial matter and selection Cecilia A. Essau. Substance use disorders (SUDs) represent a most complex and critical problem, and affect almost every developed and developing country in the world (Bukstein, 2000; World Health Organization, 1990). The purpose of the current discussion is to discuss and evaluate attempts to prevent the development of SUDs. This topic needs to be interpreted broadly. Prevention can refer to attempts to reduce the incidence of SUDs, their harm to the individual, and the impact they have on society more broadly through their association with violence, illness, and loss of productivity.