Macquarie Psychology professor awarded Australian Laureate Fellowship

Distinguished Professor Ron Rapee, Director of the Centre for Emotional Health and a member of the Psychology Department at Macquarie University has been awarded an Australian Laureate Fellowship.

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The Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme, administered by the Australian Research Council (ARC), gives outstanding research leaders the opportunity to tackle some of the most urgent and complex research issues facing Australia and the world.

With just over $3 million in funding from this ARC Laureate fellowship, Professor Rapee’s project will aim to understand factors that increase risk and provide protection from the development of emotional distress during the adolescent years.

Adolescence is a critical stage in the development of emotional functioning, and behaviours developed at this time can influence the entire life course. Professor Rapee’s research study plans to follow a large group of teenagers over many years and will focus on risk and protective factors that are open to possible modification.

The intended outcomes seek to support the development of prevention and promotion programs and public health initiatives to maximise positive emotional development in young people. It is hoped that these will lead to increased productivity and better quality of life.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Sakkie Pretorius said, “Professor Rapee’s research is an excellent example of Macquarie University researchers conducting world-leading research with world-changing impact. The award of an Australian Laureate Fellowship is acknowledgement of the outstanding research undertaken by Ron and his team and recognition of his strong leadership in this important area of research.”

“One in five Australians suffer from mental disorders and most of these begin during the adolescent years. Understanding more about what makes some adolescents thrive while others experience difficulties will help to improve the mental health of all Australians,” said Professor Rapee.

The Centre for Emotional Health was established in 2006 and has grown to one of the world’s leading research centres studying the development and management of emotional difficulties.

Professor Rapee is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and in 2012 was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his contributions to clinical psychology.

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