Alyssa Sawyer

Dr Alyssa Sawyer

Lecturer

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.

Research interests

  • 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

Potential projects

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)

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  • Appointments

    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
  • Education

    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)
  • Certifications

    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
  • Research Interests

Competitive grants:

2019-2021      

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

2016               

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.

2014      

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)

2013               

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.

Other grants:

2015               

Australian Federation of University Women South Australian Postdoctoral Grant. Awarded on merit for completion of research project, $5000.

2014               

Healthy Development Adelaide Travel Grant. Awarded to attend and present at the 8th World Congress on Promoting Mental Health (London, September, 2014), $1000

2013-2017      

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).

 

Tutoring:

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).

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  • Memberships

    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
  • Position: Lecturer
  • Phone: 83133740
  • Email: alyssa.sawyer@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Hughes, floor 7
  • Room: 717
  • Org Unit: Psychology

Connect With Me
External Profiles