Lynette Roberts is a Clinical Psychologist, and was a Lecturer in the Discipline of Clinical Psychology, Graduate School of Health (GSH) at UTS from 2014-2017. She is a founding member of the Clinical Psychology program at UTS. She created two new postgraduate level courses (96045 & 96048: Adult Clinical Psychology I & 2), and convened the courses using the innovative “flipped learning” approach. She was also Chair of the GSH Equity and Diversity Committee and committee member on the UTS Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team, which is a national gender equity initiative. She is currently an Associate of the School, and is undertaking postgraduate medicine at Flinders University, Adelaide.
Lynette completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons.), Master of Clinical Psychology and PhD at UNSW Sydney. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre for Disability Studies, University of Sydney. She has worked as a clinical psychologist in both health as well as private practice settings. She currently maintains a clinical practice on a part-time basis at Gidget House for women experiencing perinatal anxiety and depression in rural areas.
Her clinical and research interests include maternal and perinatal health, child mental health, translational mental health research, and intellectual disabilities. For instance, please see the adapted Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) program created by our lab for adolescents with intellectual disabilities and anxiety; http://www.unstoppableme.com.au/home/pages/about-the-program.
She also has a strong interest in innovative, integrative mental health treatments such as the use of probiotics in depression via the gut-brain axis. While at UTS she ran the MHIT-Psych lab (Mental Health Interventions & Translational Psychology Research Centre; http://www.mhitpsych.com/). Please see the website for updates on the probiotics clinical research trial. She can also be contacted at email@example.com.
Grants 2016 -2017:
- L Roberts, "Probiotics and Depression: Can a daily drink of good bacteria improve mental wellbeing?”, $24k from the Early Career Researcher Grant Scheme at UTS 2016-2017.
- C Burke (only 1 investigator could be named, but joint grant). MO BIO Laboratories includes US$5k worth of kits and sequencin?g for microbiome analysis in the probiotics and depression study, 2016-2017.
- L Roberts and C Burke. From uBiome in the US approximately $30k in analysis kits for microbiome samples for the probiotics and depression study. Grant realised, but we declined because of data and publication restrictions, 2016.
- L Roberts, "Unstoppable Me: An iPad anxiety program for children with intellectual disability", $21k from the James N Kirby Foundation, 2016-2017.
Can supervise: YES
Translational mental health research
Child, adolescent and adult mental health
Intellectual and developmental disabilities
Perinatal and maternal mental health
Chahwan, B, Kwan, S, Isik, A, van Hemert, S, Burke, C & Roberts, L 2019, 'Gut feelings: A randomised, triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial of probiotics for depressive symptoms.', Journal of affective disorders, vol. 253, pp. 317-326.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
BACKGROUND:Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide; with evidence suggesting that decreased gut barrier function and inflammation are correlated with depressive symptoms. We conducted a clinical trial to determine the effect of consumption of probiotic supplements (Winclove's Ecologic® Barrier) on depressive symptoms in a sample of participants with mild to severe depression. METHOD:71 participants were randomly allocated to either probiotic or placebo, which was, consumed daily over eight weeks. Pre- and post-intervention measures of symptoms and vulnerability markers of depression as well as gut microbiota composition were compared. Clinical trial participants were also compared on psychological variables and gut microbiota composition to a non-depressed group (n = 20). RESULTS:All clinical trial participants demonstrated improvement in symptoms, suggesting non-specific therapeutic effects associated with weekly monitoring visits. Participants in the probiotic group demonstrated a significantly greater reduction in cognitive reactivity compared with the placebo group, particularly in the mild/moderate subgroup. Probiotics did not significantly alter the microbiota of depressed individuals, however, a significant correlation was found between Ruminococcus gnavus and one depression metric. LIMITATIONS:There was a high attrition rate, which may be attributed to weekly monitoring visits. Additionally, modulation of the gut microbiota may need more specific testing to distinguish subtle changes. CONCLUSIONS:While microbiota composition was similar between all groups, probiotics did affect a psychological variable associated with susceptibility to depression. Further research is needed to investigate how probiotics can be utilised to modify mental wellbeing, and whether they can act as an adjunct to existing treatments.
Griffiths, O, Roberts, L & Price, J 2019, 'Desirable leadership attributes are preferentially associated with women: A quantitative study of gender and leadership roles in the Australian workforce', Australian Journal of Management, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 32-49.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© The Author(s) 2018. Women are under-represented globally in leadership roles. One theory suggests that this imbalance is due to a mismatch between the qualities women are perceived to have, and the qualities desired in business leaders. Yet, little is known about whether this incongruence remains prevalent in the Australian business environment. To this end, this study investigated gender stereotypes and desired leadership attributes in 1885 participants from 25 companies using a priopietary measure developed by a local diversity consulting company. Participants ranked the attributes that they believed were most important for leadership and rated the degree to which each attribute was associated with men or women. Men were more strongly associated with some agentic traits, whereas women were more strongly associated with a diverse range of both agentic and communal traits. Desired leadership qualities included both agentic and communal qualities, but generally favoured traits associated with women. JEL Classification: J16, M12.
Hronis, A, Roberts, R, Roberts, L & Kneebone, I 2019, 'Fearless Me!A (c): A feasibility case series of cognitive behavioral therapy for adolescents with intellectual disability', JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 75, no. 6, pp. 919-932.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Osborn, R, Roberts, L & Kneebone, I 2019, 'Barriers to accessing mental health treatment for parents of children with intellectual disabilities: a preliminary study', Disability and Rehabilitation.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Purpose: Parents of children with intellectual disability often experience heightened levels of psychological distress compared to parents of typically developing children due to increased parenting demands. Given these demands, parents may also have difficulty accessing mental health treatment for themselves. This research investigated whether parents of children with intellectual disability experience barriers in accessing mental health treatment for themselves related to the increased parenting demands of having a child with an intellectual disability. Materials and methods: 80 parents of children with intellectual disability were surveyed about barriers to accessing mental health treatment for themselves and interest in an e-treatment. Results: Parents who experienced mental health difficulties were more likely to experience barriers in accessing treatment. For parents who had experienced mental health difficulties, cost, arranging childcare, and availability of providers were significant barriers to accessing treatment. Older participants were less likely to report cost as a barrier. Participants with higher incomes were less likely to report work scheduling as a barrier. Participants reported interest in an e-treatment, with younger participants more likely to express interest. Conclusions: These preliminary findings suggest that parents of children with intellectual disability experience barriers to accessing treatment. Research directions include developing e-treatments for these carers.Implications for rehabilitation Having a child with an intellectual disability is associated with increased parenting demands, and significant stress for parents The results of this survey suggest that for parents who are experiencing mental health difficulties, cost, arranging childcare and availability of providers may act as barriers to accessing treatment for their own mental health concerns Rehabi...
Grisham, JR, Roberts, L, Cerea, S, Isemann, S, Svehla, J & Norberg, MM 2018, 'The role of distress tolerance, anxiety sensitivity, and intolerance of uncertainty in predicting hoarding symptoms in a clinical sample.', Psychiatry research, vol. 267, pp. 94-101.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Hoarding disorder (HD) is characterized primarily by difficulty discarding possessions, leading to severe clutter and significant distress and impairment. Although promising psychological treatments have emerged, treating HD remains a clinical challenge. A greater understanding of the role of psychological vulnerability factors in predicting hoarding symptoms in a clinical HD sample could further enhance treatments. To investigate the role of proposed individual difference factors (i.e., distress tolerance, anxiety sensitivity, intolerance of uncertainty), we administered a diagnostic and self-report battery to 73 individuals diagnosed with HD who were seeking treatment for hoarding at a community clinic. Results indicated that when controlling for depression and anxiety symptoms, only distress tolerance predicted the severity of hoarding symptoms. Furthermore, meditation analyses revealed that the impact of distress tolerance on hoarding severity was partially mediated by hoarding beliefs. These results have important theoretical and clinical implications for HD.
Roberts, L & Kwan, S 2018, 'Putting the C into CBT: Cognitive challenging with adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities and anxiety disorders', CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY & PSYCHOTHERAPY, vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 662-671.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Roberts, L & Richmond, JL 2018, 'Using learning flexibly and remembering after a delay: understanding cognitive dysfunction in adults with Down syndrome', JOURNAL OF INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY RESEARCH, vol. 62, no. 6, pp. 521-531.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Hronis, A, Roberts, L & Kneebone, I 2018, 'Assessing the confidence of Australian mental health practitioners in delivering therapy to people with intellectual disability', Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, vol. 56, no. 3, pp. 202-211.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© AAIDD. Research supports the use of psychological therapies among people with mild to moderate intellectual disability (ID). One barrier to people with ID accessing psychological treatments is the confidence of mental health practitioners. This article explores the confidence of Australian clinicians in providing therapy to people with ID. One hundred and fifty-two psychologists and counselors in Australia completed a survey exploring self-reported confidence when working with clients who have ID and mental health difficulties. Clinicians were most confident with generic counseling skills, but less confident with elements of assessments and interventions. The use of treatment protocols was endorsed as helpful particularly among those with low confidence. This highlights the need for dissemination of treatment guides and training to help increase clinician confidence.
Osborn, R, Girgis, M, Sladakovic, J, Morse, S, Kneebone, I, Shires, AG, Durvasula, S & Roberts, L 2018, 'Mindfulness-Integrated CBT (MiCBT) for Reducing Distress in Parents of Children with Intellectual Disability (ID): a Case Series."', Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 559-568.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Caring for a child with an intellectual disability (ID) is associated with significant psychological distress. Interventions include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Mindfulness-integrated CBT (MiCBT) may offer a balance between CBT's change focus and MBSR's acceptance focus for these parents. Five participants were recruited and provided one to one MiCBT tailored to parental carers of children with ID. Four participants completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales 21 (DASS-21) pre-treatment and post-treatment. Reliable change analysis was used to identify clinically reliable change. One participant dropped out after four sessions, four completed eight of the available eight sessions. Two participants reported reductions in depressive and stress symptoms, and one of these, additionally reported a reduction in anxiety symptoms. All four participants who completed treatment rated the treatment as acceptable. MiCBT shows promise as an intervention to assist parental carers of children with ID.
Padoa, T, Berle, D & Roberts, L 2018, 'Comparative Social Media Use and the Mental Health of Mothers With High Levels of Perfectionism.', Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, vol. 37, no. 7, pp. 514-535.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Social media is thought to communicate idealized images and discourses of motherhood. As such, it may present as a risk factor for poor mental health in mothers who strive for perfection and compare themselves to the ideals presented on social media. The present study examined the influence of Facebook and In-stagram on the relationship between perfectionism in mothers and their mental health. A sample of 201 mothers completed an online survey. Two dimensions of perfectionism were assessed: Self-Orientated Parenting Perfectionism (SOPP) and Societal-Prescribed Parenting Perfectionism (SPPP). Mediation models were conducted to examine social media frequency and social comparison respectively on the relationship between perfectionism and maternal mental health. Results revealed that for mothers with SOPP, the process of social comparison with other mothers on social media contributed to symptoms of anxiety and depression. The amount of time engaging in social media however, had no impact. In contrast, for mothers with SPPP, the amount of time spent on Facebook contributed to symptoms of depression and anxiety, while the process of social comparison led to anxiety symptoms alone. Social comparison appears to be important for perfectionistic mothers who use social media, as this may contribute to negative mental health outcomes.
Xu, F, Roberts, L, Binns, C, Sullivan, E & Homer, CSE 2018, 'Anaemia and depression before and after birth: a cohort study based on linked population data.', BMC psychiatry, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 224-224.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
To investigate the rates of hospitalisation for anaemia and depression in women in the six-year period (3 years before and after birth). To compare hospital admissions for depression in women with and without anaemia.This is a population-based cohort study. Women's birth records (New South Wales (NSW) Perinatal Data Collection) were linked with NSW Admitted Patients Data Collection records between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2010, so that hospital admissions for mothers could be traced back for 3 years before birth and followed up 3 years after birth.NSW Australia.all women who gave birth to their first child in NSW between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2008.Hospital admissions for both anaemia and depression were increased significantly in the year just before and after birth compared with the years before and after. Women with anaemia were more likely to be admitted to hospital for depression than those without (for principal diagnosis of depression, adjusted OR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.25-2.11; for all diagnosis of depression, adjusted OR = 2.01, 95% CI = 1.70-2.38).Depression was associated with anaemia in women before and after birth. This finding highlight the important role of primary care providers in assessing for both anaemia and depressive symptomatology together, given the relationship between the two. Treating or preventing anaemia may help to prevent postnatal depression.
Hronis, A, Roberts, L & Kneebone, II 2017, 'A review of cognitive impairments in children with intellectual disabilities: Implications for cognitive behaviour therapy', British Journal of Clinical Psychology, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 189-207.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Roberts, LV & Richmond, JL 2015, 'Preschoolers with Down syndrome do not yet show the learning and memory impairments seen in adults with Down syndrome', Developmental Science, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 404-419.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Denson, TF, Pedersen, WC, Friese, M, Hahm, A & Roberts, L 2011, 'Understanding Impulsive Aggression: Angry Rumination and Reduced Self-Control Capacity Are Mechanisms Underlying the Provocation-Aggression Relationship', PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN, vol. 37, no. 6, pp. 850-862.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Industry partner for the probiotics and depression clinical trial:
Dr Saskia van Hemert at https://www.wincloveprobiotics.com/