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
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: UTS OPUS or 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: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Foster children frequently experience early trauma that significantly impacts their neurobiological, psychological and social development. This systematic review examines the comparative effectiveness of foster and kinship care interventions. It examines the components within each intervention, exploring their potential to benefit child and carer well-being, particularly focussing on child behaviour problems, and relational functioning. Systematic searches of electronic databases included PsycINFO, MEDLINE, Web of Science Core Collection, the Cochrane Collaborations Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) and Scopus to identify randomised or quasi-randomised trials of psychosocial foster/kinship care interventions, published between 1990 and 2016. Seventeen studies describing 14 interventions were included. Eleven studies reported comparative benefit compared to control. Overall, effective interventions had clearly defined aims, targeted specific domains and developmental stages, provided coaching or role play, and were developed to ameliorate the effects of maltreatment and relationship disruption. Interventions effective in reducing behaviour problems included consistent discipline and positive reinforcement components, trauma psychoeducation, problem-solving and parent-related components. Interventions effective in improving parent-child relationships included components focussed on developing empathic, sensitive and attuned parental responses to children's needs. Given the prevalence of both behaviour problems and relational difficulties in foster families, targeting these needs is essential. However, interventions have tended to measure outcomes in either behavioural or relational terms. A more coordinated and collaborative research approach would provide a better understanding of the association between parent-child relationships and child behaviour problems. This would allow us to develop, deliver and evaluate programs that combine these components more ef...
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: UTS OPUS or 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.
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: UTS OPUS or 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
This article examines the prevalence and prediction of internalising and externalising disorders from temperament and parenting in children aged 4 to 6 years (N = 491). Children were assessed via parent and teacher reports over 14 months and clinical interviews with parents were included at follow-up, along with parent and teacher reports of behavioural and emotional difficulties. Prevalence rates for internalising disorders (8.7%) were higher than for externalising disorders (5.8%), and internalising rates were similar to that found for older children in the same city. Accuracy of prediction of disorders, as well as overall behavioural and emotional difficulties, was low to moderate, and externalising problems were better predicted than internalising problems. The results highlight that while psychological disorders can be predicted from measures of temperament in infancy, the accuracy is too low to recommend these children receive selective prevention and treatment programs.
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
This study developed and evaluated a puppet interview that allows children to self-report on temperamental constructs. Structured child self-report measures are rarely utilised in clinical assessment of young children under the age of 7-8 years. Given that clinical assessment is often characterised by low convergence between raters, such a measure may offer important contributions. The present study developed and evaluated a measure based on items from the Colorado Childhood Temperament Inventory and reports two studies with child participants aged 4 to 5 years. Independent observations of the children were also made. Results showed moderate levels of internal consistency and stability, and convergence between child self-report and teacher/parent raters was low, but similar levels of agreement were achieved between adult informants. The puppet interview thus showed some potential but highlighted the difficulties of self-report in young children within a multiple informant framework in clinical assessment.
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.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Reviews evidence for the significance of childhood cruelty to animals as a predictor of later violence toward humans. Moves are underway in the United States (US) and Britain to encourage communication and cross-fertilisation between animal welfare and child protection and crime prevention services. Literature on healthy versus deviant child-pet interactions is reviewed, with particular regard to the prediction of later violence. Assessment and definitional issues are addressed. The discussion culminates with a summary of substantive findings and the identification of several research designs that are needed to clarify the potential of early identification and remediation of child cruelty to animals as a mental health promotion and violence prevention strategy.