School of Psychology
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
I am a Lecturer in the School of Psychology and Registered Psychologist (endorsed by the Psychology Board of Australia as a Clinical Psychologist). I have previously worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Research and Evaluation Unit of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and with the BetterStart Child Health and Development Research Group within the School of Public Health.
My research focuses on children’s development and mental health, postnatal mental health and support for new parents, and epidemiology. I have an interest in using population data from longitudinal cohorts and surveys, and population-level interventions designed to improve outcomes for children. Of particular interest is the development of self-regulation and how this affects children’s later outcomes.
Alyssa is interested in providing supervision for students who wish to focus their research on the mental health of children, adolescents, or families. Alyssa works with population level datasets including the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (https://growingupinaustralia.gov.au/) and the Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (https://youngmindsmatter.telethonkids.org.au/about-young-minds-matter/ ). Opportunities exist for research projects using these population level datasets for students interested in statistical analyses and epidemiological research methods. Projects will be co-supervised by Emeritus Professor Michael Sawyer.
- Child mental health and development
- Supports for parents during the postnatal period (particularly for mothers experiencing postnatal depression and for new fathers)
- Epidemiology and population health
- The development of self-regulation in childhood: effects on children's later outcomes.
- The effectiveness of online interventions for postnatal depression
Masters of Psychology (Clinical)
1. An IPA qualitative project involving transcription and thematic analysis of women who have done Mother-Infant Dialectical Behavior (MI-DBT) 18-24 months ago. Supervisors: Dr Anne Sved-Williams: Anne.SvedWilliams@sa.gov.au (projects will be co-supervised by Dr. Alyssa Sawyer & A/Prof Rachel Roberts)
2. Evaluation of a brief version (6-7 sessions) of MI-DBT in the setting of teenage mothers. Supervisors: Dr Anne Sved-Williams: Anne.SvedWilliams@sa.gov.au (projects will be co-supervised by Dr. Alyssa Sawyer & A/Prof Rachel Roberts)
Date Position Institution name 2019 Lecturer School of Psychology, University of Adelaide 2017 - 2019 Postdoctoral researcher Research and Evaluation Unit of the Women's and Children's Hospital; School of Medicine, University 2012 - 2017 Postdoctoral researcher University of Adelaide
Date Institution name Country Title 2008 - 2012 Flinders University Australia PhD (Clin Psyc) 2007 - 2007 Flinders University Australia BA Hons (Psychology) 2006 - 2006 Flinders University Australia Grad Dip Psyc 2003 - 2005 Flinders University Australia BCA (Creative Writing)
Date Title Institution name Country 2014 Clinical Psychology Area of Practice Endorsement Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency Australia 2011 Registered Psychologist Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency Australia
Year Citation 2018 Sawyer, A., Lynch, J., McDonald, D., Jeffs, D., Reece, C., Clark, J., & Sawyer, M. (2018). eMums Plus: Supporting mothers with mild-moderate depression and parenting problems. In AUSTRALIAN PSYCHOLOGIST Vol. 53 (pp. 53). WILEY.
Year Citation 2015 Pearce, A., Sawyer, A., Chittleborough, C. R., Mittinty, N. M., & Lynch, J. (2015). Relative contributions of early-life cognitive ability and self-regulation in mediating social inequalities in academic ability: effect decomposition in contemporary UK and Australian cohorts. Poster session presented at the meeting of Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies International Conference. Dublin. 2012 Sawyer, A., Chittleborough, C. R., Mittinty, N. M., Sawyer, M., & Lynch, J. (2012). The importance of children’s development of self-regulation in early life for later school readiness and academic achievement. Poster session presented at the meeting of The 11th Australian Conference for Personality and Individual Differences. Melbourne. 2012 Sawyer, A., Chittleborough, C. R., Lawlor, D., Sawyer, M., Mittinty, N. M., & Lynch, J. (2012). The role of attention and emotion regulation in school readiness and school performance. Poster session presented at the meeting of Population Health Congress. Adelaide.
Report for External Bodies
Year Citation 2015 Sawyer, M. G., Mpundu-Kaambwa, C., Sawyer, A., Clark, J., & Lynch, J. (2015). Results from a Pilot Trial Assessing a new Child and Family Health Service (CaFHS) Clinical Support Measure. School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia; the Research and Evaluation Unit, Women’s and Children’s Health Network, Adelaide.. 2014 Sawyer, A., Gialamas, A., Pearce, A., Sawyer, M., & Lynch, J. (2014). A Supporting Systems Framework for Child Health and Development, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide.
Do, L. G., Sawyer, A., Jones, A., Ha, D. H., Leary, S., Spencer, A. J. Early exposure to fluoridated water and child psychological and intellectual development. National Health and Medical Research Council – Project Grant, $828,756
Sawyer, M., Lynch, J., Sawyer, A., Sved Williams, A., & Briggs, N. A randomised controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of a nurse-moderated group-based internet support program for mothers with comorbid mild to moderate depression and parenting problems. Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation, $75,000.
Sawyer, M., Bowering, K., Jeffs, D., Lynch, J., Sawyer, A. Does nurse home-visiting improve the longer term health and wellbeing of mothers and children? Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation, $58,062.
2013 - 2016
Lynch, J., Chittleborough, C., Smithers, L., Sawyer, M., Brinkman, S., Mittinty, M., Sawyer, A., Bowering, K. Child health and development: a South Australian data linkage study. National Health and Medical Research Council – Partnership Project. ($273,131 NHMRC), ($180,000 partners)
Sawyer, M., Bowering, K., Jeffs, D., Lynch, J., Sawyer, A. Does nurse home-visiting improve the longer term health and wellbeing of mothers and children? Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation, $72,355.
Australian Federation of University Women South Australian Postdoctoral Grant. Awarded on merit for completion of research project, $5000.
Healthy Development Adelaide Travel Grant. Awarded to attend and present at the 8th World Congress on Promoting Mental Health (London, September, 2014), $1000
Marshall, H., Richmond, P., Booy, R., Wood, N., Blythe, C., Nissen, M., Crawford, N., Buttery, J., Haji Ali Afzali, H., Sawyer, M., Barton, B., Sawyer, A., Wang, B., Clarke, M. The Long-term Impact of Serogroup B Invasive Meningococcal Disease (IMD) in Australian Adolescents and Young Adults: 2012 – 2016. AMEND study. Pfizer, $891,000.
Lecturing and course coordination:
2018 Coordinator, Abnormal Psychology (Master of Psychology (Clinical), University of Adelaide).
2018 Placement Coordinator (Master of Psychology (Clinical), University of Adelaide).
2014 - 2016 Public Health 1A (Bachelor of Health Sciences, University of Adelaide).
2014 - 2018 Communication for Health Sciences (Bachelor of Health Sciences, University of Adelaide).
2014-2015 Public Health 1B (Bachelor of Health Sciences, University of Adelaide) – mentor for Small Group Discovery Experience.
2014 Public Health 1A (Bachelor of Health Sciences, University of Adelaide).
Date Role Membership Country 2014 - ongoing Member Member of The Australian Psychological Society College of Clinical Psychologist Australia 2013 - ongoing Member NHMRC Research Translation faculty Australia 2013 - 2015 Member Early Career Researchers Committee, School of Population Health, Adelaide University. — 2012 - ongoing Member Healthy Kids Cluster Australia 2011 - ongoing Member The Australian Psychological Society Australia 2011 - ongoing Member Australian Association for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Australia 2008 - ongoing Member Healthy Development Adelaide Australia
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