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Kathryn L. Modecki

I have spent the past ten years as an academic faculty member in Australia, and am currently a member of Menzies Health Institute Queensland and the School of Applied Psychology at Griffith University.


I have served as co-Principal Investigator (CI-2) on three Australia Research Council Discovery Projects. This includes two longitudinal studies of youths’ mental health and well-being, risk behaviors, coping and stress. 


I also serve as Principal Investigator (CI-1) on the “How do you feel?” project that has spanned six years, and leverages experience sampling research with socio-economically disadvantaged youth to understand how teens navigate and cope with day-to-day life.


I currently serve on the editorial boards for Child Development, Behaviour Research and Therapy, Journal of Research on Adolescence, Aggressive Behavior, Child and Youth Care Forum, and Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. I also consult for organizations such as Outward Bound at-risk programs, Florida Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, Western Australia Department of Corrections, and the World Bank. I have partnered with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and a team of scientists to explore family risk and well-being in the modern age. 



This six-year longitudinal study followed more than 1,000 youth across the high school years to explore their time in structured settings, peer relationships, positive attributes, and risk behaviors. I serve as co-PI (CI-2) on the study (with PI Professor Bonnie Barber and Professor Jacque Eccles). This research was conducted with support from the Australian Research Council.





"How do you feel?" is an experience sampling project that has spanned six years. Beginning with focus groups, a small pilot, and debriefing sessions, we have now sampled roughly 200 adolescents living in socio-economic disadvantage. Five times a day for seven days, adolescent report-back on their moods, stressors, contexts, and time on-line. We are currently analyzing results to paint a picture of what it means to navigate adolescent life "wired in the wild." This research was conducted with support from the Young and Well CRC.

I completed my undergraduate honors degree in Psychology at the University of Virginia in the US. Prior to attending graduate school in Psychology, I dedicated three years to leading month-long Outward Bound wilderness courses for court-ordered delinquent youth. I then earned a PhD at the University of New Hampshire with Professor Victoria Banyard, and received an American Psychological Association (APA, Division 41) award for my resulting dissertation. My graduate work focused on developmental features of adolescents’ decision making, and implications for legal policy. Research based on this work is cited in a number of Amicus Briefs to the US Supreme Court regarding juveniles’ culpability for their crimes. I subsequently completed a three-year NIMH post-doctoral fellowship at ASU’s Prevention Research Centre focused on advanced statistical methods and intervention with families under stress.

Support for secondary analyses provided by the Australian Institute of Criminology, through the Criminology Research Grants Program CRG 13/14-15.
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