Catia Malvaso

Dr Catia Malvaso

Research Associate

School of Psychology

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.

I am a postdoctoral research fellow across two Schools at the University of Adelaide (School of Psychology and School of Public Health).

My research interests are in the areas of child protection, criminology and developmental psychology. Specifically I am interested in the link between childhood maltreatment and subsequent offending behaviour in adolescence and adulthood.

At the end of 2019 I was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) which I will commence in April 2020. The topic of the DECRA is 'Child maltreatment, youth and adult offending: Pathways and prevention'.

I am currently leading an Australian Institute of Criminology funded project to better understand the needs of young people under Youth Justice supervision, with a particular focus on adverse childhood experiences and trauma. This involves completing a survey interview with young people under supervision both in Community Youth Justice and in the Adelaide Youth Training Centre a 12 month period. Co-investigators include Prof Andrew Day (University of Melbourne), Prof Paul Delfabbro (University of Adelaide), Ms Louisa Hackett (Principal Psychology, Youth Justice), A/Prof Jesse Cale (Griffith University), and Prof Stuart Ross (University of Melbourne).

I am also leading a Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation project to examine the crossover of young people between out-of-home care and youth justice using linked administrative data included in the South Australian Early Childhood Data Project (SA ECDP). Associate investigators include Dr Rhiannon Pilkington, Ms Alicia Montgomerie, and Prof John Lynch (School of Public Health, University of Adelaide), Prof Paul Delfabbro (School of Psychology, University of Adelaide), and Prof Andrew Day (University of Melbourne). 

I am also working on an evaluation of the Adolescent Reunification Program with Professor Paul Delfabbro in collaboration with the Department for Child Protection and Centacare Catholic Family Services. We are interviewing parents, young people and their Centacare workers about what is working well and what can be improved in regards to the services they are receiving through the reunification program.

Criminology Research Grant, Australian Institute of Criminology, March 2019 - September 2020

Adverse childhood experiences and trauma among young people in the Youth Justice system: A South Australian study

Leading investigator: Dr Catia Malvaso

Co-investigators: Prof Andrew Day (University of Melbourne), Prof Paul Delfabbro (University of Adelaide), Ms Louisa Hackett (Youth Justice; Department of Human Services), A/Prof Jesse Cale (University of New South Wales), Prof Stewart Ross (University of Melbourne)


This is the first Australian study to develop a model that explains how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and current manifestations of trauma-related symptoms are associated with behavioural problems and offending pathways among young people supervised by Youth Justice. A mixed methods approach to data collection will be employed, including survey data and administrative government records. Informed by developmental and life-course criminology, this research will provide the evidence needed to develop trauma-informed interventions that also address criminogenic needs among young offenders. This is essential for the design and implementation of strategies to reduce recidivism across the criminal justice system.

I teach into the third year Health and Lifespan Development course of the Bachelor of Psychology Science, teaching specifically into the child development component. My lectures focus on the causes and consequences of child maltreatment and other adverse childhood experiences, and how these experiences may influence development over the life course.

  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Suicidal risk in young Indigenous and non-Indigenous males in Youth Justice: Understanding the role of early child maltreatment and other risk factors University of Adelaide Honours Matilda D'Antoine
  • Mentoring

    Date Topic Location Name
    2019 - ongoing Bachelor of Psychology Advanced student University of Adelaide Anna Hilferty
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2019 - ongoing Board Member Australian & New Zealand Society of Psychology, Psychiatry and Law (ANZAPPL) SA branch Australian & New Zealand Society of Psychology, Psychiatry and Law Australia
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2019 - ongoing Member Australian & New Zealand Society of Criminology Australia
    2019 - ongoing Member American Society of Criminology United States
    2018 - ongoing Board Member Australian & New Zealand Society for Psychology, Psychiatry and Law Australia
  • Consulting/Advisories

    Date Institution Department Organisation Type Country
    2017 - ongoing Youth Justice Psychology Services Youth Justice Health services and related Australia
    2017 - ongoing Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory Attorney General's Department Health services and related Australia
  • Expert Witness

    Date Case Institution Country
    2015 - ongoing Child Protection Systems Royal Commission University of Adelaide
  • Review, Assessment, Editorial and Advice

    Date Title Type Institution Country
    2019 - ongoing Child Maltreatment and Aggressive Behaviors in Early Adolescence: Evidence of Moderation by Parent/Child Relationship Quality Journal Review Child Maltreatment
    2019 - ongoing Parental death during childhood and violent crime in late adolescence to early adulthood – a Swedish national cohort study Journal Review Palgrave Communications
    2019 - ongoing A prospective, longitudinal study of risk factors for early onset of delinquency among maltreated youth Journal Review Children and Youth Services Review
    2019 - ongoing What happens to children born to young people in and leaving state care and why? Journal Review Children and Youth Services Review
    2019 - ongoing A Descriptive Analysis of the Child Protection Histories of Youth and Young Adults Arrested in California Journal Review Child Maltreatment
    2018 - ongoing Services to young people with complex support needs in rural and regional Australia: Beyond a metro-centric response Journal Review Children and Youth Services Review
    2018 - ongoing The intersection between the child protection and youth justice systems’ for your review Peer Review Child Family Community Australia
    2018 - ongoing Childhood victimization, recent injustice, anger and forgiveness in a sample of male prison inmates Journal Review Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
  • Position: Research Associate
  • Phone: 83133764
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Hughes, floor 7
  • Room: 728
  • Org Unit: School of Psychology

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