Dr Prudence Millear

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Dr Prudence Millear

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Teaching areas

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Adult Development and Aging

Research areas

  • optimism and understanding how individual differences influence work and family choices and outcomes
  • occupational health psychology (1): the intersection of work and family roles across the lifespan, and how menopause impacts working women; and (2): understanding the demands and resources of jobs and motivation to work in diverse occupations, such as early childhood or aged care
  • well-being and work engagement: understanding what makes a full and happy life
  • seachange and treechange experiences and living well in retirement
  • developmental psychology: parents and their children of all ages
  • advanced research design and methods

Profile

In 1983, Prue graduated from the University of New England with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Honours) and worked in rural enterprises in NSW and in business in Qld before returning to tertiary study in 2003. Prue graduated with a Graduate Diploma in Psychology (2004), Bachelor in Psychology (Honours) (2005) and PhD from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) (2010).

Dr Prue Millear became Research Fellow in 2010 for the E4Kids Project, about the social and cognitive development of pre-prep children, under the leadership of Professor Karen Thorpe at QUT. Dr Millear and Professor Thorpe are developing another project into the occupational demands that early childhood staff face and to understand what motivates individuals to work with children. Dr Millear is also undertaking research in the reasons for taking a Seachange and Treechange, how practice examinations help students become better judges of their actual exam performance, and how parents negotiate their shared childcare with their work.

Underpinning these projects is the belief that each person is actively involved in constructing their own lives. Individuals face many challenges, to balance their work and study, family responsibilities and other interests. Current and future research will explore the connections between each of these areas and how the characteristics of the person drive their experiences and behaviours.

Dr Prue Millear joined USC as a lecturer in Psychology in early 2011 after tutoring and lecturing at QUT. This is an exciting time to be at USC, as students numbers are increasing and the University is expanding its research alongside its excellent teaching record.

Professional memberships

  • Member of the Australian Psychological Society
  • Member of the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology
  • Member of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

  • Mental health and well-being amongst early childhood education and care workers: what motivates staff to stay, despite lower pay and conditions? What does it mean to say you love to work with children, in a healthy, positive way?
  • Parents and their children: at what age do children become a resource for their parents and less of a demand? How does children’s sport offer a focus for parental life? How does the parent-child relationship change and evolve as parents become elderly or frail?
  • Successful aging in non-urban areas: what are the differences to retiring on the coast, rather than staying where you have always lived?
  • Seachange or stay where you are: what drives the desire for career change and migration for families and why do they choose the Sunshine Coast?
  • Investigating how work engagement becomes employee burnout: what personal resources and workplace conditions are important to keeping employees satisfied with their work? How do these vary with type of work, such as early childhood or aged care sector,
    rather than private enterprises, large and small?
  • Personality in the workplace: how do optimism and resilience act as buffers for work demands and interpersonal conflict?
  • What are the personal and workplace resources that impact on and are impacted by the menopausal transition for working women, and how do these in turn affect well-being, mental health and work engagement?

Research grants

Project nameInvestigatorsFunding bodyYear/s
The lifespan is for living and growing: Using simulation and authentic assessment to study developmental psychology Dr Prue Millear (lead), Dr Ruth Greenaway, Ms Jessica Schmidt Exploratory Learning and Teaching Grant, USC (A$10,000) 2015–2016
Good night, sleep tight: Perceptions and experiences of night staff working in a new and innovative dementia care setting Dr Prue Millear Faculty of Arts and Business Seed Grant, USC 2013
Seachange and treechange: an investigation of needs that lead to moving to the Sunshine Coast and staying, in comparison to why some then return to their former homes Dr Prue Millear Research Encouragement Funds, USC  2011
Academic self-efficacy and student’s expectations of exam results examines whether practice exams increase the students’ accuracy in assessing how well they will do on the final exam Dr Prue Millear Research Encouragement Funds, USC 2011
Family time: an analysis of how working parents share the care of their children with work roles, examining both self-report and time use diaries Dr Prue Millear Research Encouragement Funds, USC 2011
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