Contact the Adolescent Risk Research Unit

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Contact the Adolescent Risk Research Unit


General enquiries


Street address

Adolescent Risk Research Unit
University of the Sunshine Coast
Thompson Institute
12 Innovation Parkway
Queensland 4575

Postal address

Adolescent Risk Research Unit (ML59)
University of the Sunshine Coast
Locked Bag 4
Maroochydore  DC  QLD  4558

Our people


  • Dr Bridie Scott-Parker
    Dr Bridie Scott-Parker

    Senior USC Research Fellow, National Health and Medical Research Council

    Supported by Bridie's decade plus of expertise in young and novice driver road safety, Bridie leads the University's Adolescent Risk Research Unit's research which includes adolescent health and wellbeing more generally, including teen mental health, social influences, and interactions with authorities such as police.

The Accident Risk Research Unit (ARRU) at the University of the Sunshine Coast is currently working with the following students on various research projects.

Araliya AbeysekaraAraliya Abeysekara

Araliya is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) Honours at USC, and commenced her role as a research assistant with the Adolescent Risk Research Unit (ARRU) in March 2016. Her project focuses on prevention of accidents among adolescents. Particularly, aimed to improve of the adolescents driving and provide training in order to minimize the risk of road crash injuries. Her areas of research interest include adolescent and mental health, forensic mental health, well-being and rehabilitation, trauma and childhood adversities. Araliya conducted a study on 'Analysis of Relationship between Childhood Adversities and Prevalence of Common Mental Disorders among Sri Lankan Male Convicted Prison Inmates' as her major research project during her undergraduate program and a report was sent to the Department of Prisons in Sri Lanka. In addition, she conducted a research internship at the Institute of Research and Development (IRD) in Sri Lanka. Araliya was attached to National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Sri Lanka she was awarded as the national Youth Volunteer of the year 2013 at the V-Awards.

Jamie CalwellJamie Caldwell

Jamie is enrolled in a PhD at USC. Her research project is 'Understanding the discrepancy between adolescents' online privacy attitudes and their privacy protection strategies'.

Carmeline EstherCarmeline Esther

Carmeline is enrolled in the Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at USC. Her research project is entitled 'Factors contributing to psychological distress in adolescents'.

Tyrone HuckstepTyrone Huckstepp

Tyrone is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) and the Bachelor of Nutrition, both at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Tyrone started working with Adolescent Risk Research Unit as a research assistant in 2016. His current research focus is 'Sleep and health risk study for year 12 students'.

Jane LarkinJane Larkin MComn Sunshine Coast, GDipEd Sunshine Coast, MComn Sunshine Coast, BA Sunshine Coast

Jane began working with Dr. Bridie Scott-Parker as a research assistant after her involvement in a focus group examining emotional impacts on drivers and road safety. As a postgraduate student and avid researcher, Jane sought out the project’s leaders with the intent to get involved in further research. Jane is a PhD student and was drawn to the project as a means of not only improving road safety in adolescents, but also impacting the community of the Sunshine Coast.

Sehana Naz BSc S.Qld.

Naz began work with ARRU in November 2015 as part of a work experience exercise, managing a preliminary qualitative project exploring the perspectives of parents and the obstacles to engaging in the learner licensing process. As there was limited literature on the parents’ perspective, the findings from this research has developed several new directions for future research in the assisting parents of novice drivers to keeping engaged throughout the licensing process. Sehana is currently working with the ARRU as a research assistant.


Naz, S. and Scott-Parker, B. (forthcoming June 2016) Obstacles to engaging in young driver licensing: Perspectives of parents, Journal of Safety Research.

Fiona O'HaraFiona O'Hara MEd (Guidance and Counselling) Qld., GDip Counselling Studies Christian Heritage College, GCTesol Camb., DipTeaching Griff.

Fiona is currently working towards producing a PhD thesis, under the supervision of Dr Bridie Scott-Parker. She is pleased for the expert guidance and supervision that Dr Scott-Parker provides, as such an experienced and productive researcher in the social psychology field. Fiona has a professional background in teaching and counselling, and is passionate about research that promotes the discipline of counselling in Australia, particularly in the area of therapist training. Fiona's PhD research project is entitled 'Reflectivity, insight and hope in the therapeutic change process'. It aims to explore how therapist reflective function (capacity to mentalise) interacts with other personal variables of the therapist (eg. insight, hope) in the psychotherapeutic process, and its significance in terms of therapeutic outcomes for clients. Her research also explores the implication of the significance of therapist factors, for the way we design programs and train therapists.

Clara SilviClara Silvi

Clara is currently enrolled in a PhD at USC. Her research project is 'Driving with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)'.

Natalie Watson-Brown

Natalie is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Philosophy program. Her research project is entitled
'Safe driving practice for learner drivers: Development of professional best-practice instruction'.

Ellen WrightEllen Wright

Ellen is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology (Honours) program. Her research project is 'Improving marriage relationships through written communication'.

Miriam Guscott

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