Victoria Branson

Victoria Branson

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

PhD Master of Psychology - Clinical student

School of Psychology

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences


I am a Combined PhD/Master of Psychology (Clinical) student in the School of Psychology. My research interests lie in the application of Positive Psychology to education, wherein schools seek to promote both traditional academic skills and the skills of wellbeing, and psychometric assessment in young people.

“Stress is a scientific concept which has suffered from the mixed blessing of being too well known and too little understood”                                                                                                                                                                                               ~ Hans Selye, 1980       

Overall, my research focusses on challenging assumptions about stress and its' effect on healthy adolescent development. Specifically, I am looking to shine a light on the profoundly positive effect stress can have on young people. My other primary areas of research and clinical interest are Positive Education and adolescent wellbeing.

PhD Research

Psychological literature describes stress as an unavoidable occurrence that can be delineated into both negative and positive aspects, known as distress and eustress. However, despite this prominent theoretical conceptualisation, there are only three adult measures that incorporate both distress and eustress and no adolescent measures.

The first major aim of my PhD project was to rectify this oversight, by designing and evaluating a holistic measure of adolescent stress that encompasses both the positive and negative aspects of the construct. The resulting Adolescent Distress-Eustress Scale (ADES) was developed collaboratively with adolescent participants and demonstrated promising psychometric properties in a large-scale evaluation study.

The second aim of the project was to use the ADES to investigate the effect of distress and eustress on young people's psychological functioning. Results demonstrated eustress a profoundly positive effect adolescent wellbeing, challenging common assumptions. This finding suggests stress may be positively leveraged for clinical psychological intervention.

If you would like to use the Adolescent Distress-Eustress Scale in your research, organisation, or school, please see  https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244019865802 for a copy of the scale.

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  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2018 Award Vernon Roy East Prize 12th Florey International Postgraduate Research Conference Australia
    2018 Award School of Psychology Prize 12th Florey International Postgraduate Research Conference Australia
    2017 Award Vernon Roy East Prize 11th Florey International Postgraduate Research Conference Australia
    2016 Award Vernon Roy East Prize 10th Florey International Postgraduate Research Conference Australia
    2016 Award Academic Prize for Best Poster Australian Positive Psychology and Wellbeing Conference Australia
    2016 Award People's Choice for Best Poster Australian Positive Psychology and Wellbeing Conference Australia
    2016 Award Univeristy Medal The University of Adelaide Australia
    2016 Scholarship PhD top-up scholarship Healthy Development Adelaide and Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation Australia
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2015 The Univeristy of Adelaide Australia Honours Degree of Bachelor of Psychology
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    2016 Registered Psychologist with Provisional Registrat Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
    2015 Qualified Educator Working with Over Preschool Age Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)
  • Research Interests

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  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2019 Branson, V., Dry, M., Palmer, E., & Turnbull, D. (2019). The Adolescent Distress-Eustress Scale: Development and Validation. SAGE Open, 9(3), 14 pages.
    DOI
    2019 Branson, V., Turnbull, D., Dry, M., & Palmer, E. (2019). How do young people experience stress? A qualitative investigation of the indicators of distress and eustress in adolescents. International Journal of Stress Management, 26(3), 321-329.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS2
    2019 Branson, V., Palmer, E., Dry, M. J., & Turnbull, D. (2019). A holistic understanding of the effect of stress on adolescent wellbeing: A conditional process analysis.. Stress and health : journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress.
    DOI
  • Conference Items

    Year Citation
    2019 Branson, V., & Tape, N. (2019). Living a Flourishing, Thriving Life at School: Causes and academic effects of wellbeing in adolescence. Poster session presented at the meeting of Positive Education Schools Association South Australian Chapter State Conference.
    2019 Branson, V. M., Palmer, E., Dry, M. J., & Turnbull, D. (2019). A positive understanding of the effect of stress on psychological health: The role of eustress in adolescent wellbeing. Poster session presented at the meeting of 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology. Melbourne, Australia.
    2019 Branson, V. M., Palmer, E., Dry, M., & Turnbull, D. (2019). A positive understanding of the effect of stress on psychological health: The role of eustress in adolescent wellbeing. Poster session presented at the meeting of 13th Florey Postgraduate Research Conference.
    2018 Branson, V., Dry, M., Palmer, E., & Turnbull, D. (2018). The Adolescent Distress-Eustress Scale: Development and validation of a novel stress measure. Poster session presented at the meeting of 12th Florey Postgraduate Research Conference.
    2017 Branson, V., Turnbull, D., Dry, M., & Palmer, E. (2017). How do young people experience stress? A qualitative investigation of the indicators of distress and eustress in adolescents. Poster session presented at the meeting of 11th Florey Postgraduate Research Conference.
    2017 Branson, V., Turnbull, D., Dry, M., & Palmer, E. (2017). The Adolescent Distress-Eustress Scale: Developing a holistic measure of adolescent stress. Poster session presented at the meeting of 38th STAR Conference: Stress, Anxiety and Resilience: Challenges of the 21st Century. Hong Kong.
    2016 Branson, V., Halliday, A., & Turnbull, D. (2016). Challenging our assumptions about stress: A test of the Challenge Model of Resilience. Poster session presented at the meeting of 5th Australian Positive Psychology and Wellbeing Conference. Adelaide, S.A..
    2016 Branson, V., Halliday, A., & Turnbull, D. (2016). Challenging our assumptions about stress: A test of the Challenge Model of Resilience.. Poster session presented at the meeting of 10th Florey Postgraduate Research Conference.

I am supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award, with a top-up provided jointly by Healthy Development Adelaide and the Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation.

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  • Position: PhD Master of Psychology - Clinical student
  • Email: victoria.branson@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Hughes, floor 7
  • Room: 7 21a
  • Org Unit: Psychology

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