Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Please refer to Current Projects on my profile. I am happy to discuss research interests that fit within the broad scope of parenting and child and youth mental health.
In collaboration with colleagues at the University of Warwick, UK, we have 1-2 PhD projects available as part of the NIHR-funded project. There may be opportunity to apply for the Monash-Warwick Alliance PhD scholarship to support these projects. Please contact me if you are interested in this opportunity.


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr Marie Yap is a Professor and Psychologist with expertise in parenting and youth mental health. Her research interests in parenting are two-fold: 1) increasing our understanding of specific family processes and the mechanisms by which they influence young people's mental health; and 2) translating existing research evidence into credible, accessible resources for parents to help them reduce their child's risk of developing mental health problems. She is the lead investigator of the Parenting Strategies program, which has been developed to provide parents with actionable strategies endorsed by research evidence and the consensus of international experts to help parents support their child's mental health.

Current Projects
1. Parenting Strategies online platform
The Parenting Strategies platform currently consists of 3 linked projects:
1.1. Parenting Strategies: Preventing Adolescent Alcohol Misuse provides parenting guidelines for adolescent alcohol use, as well as an interactive, web-based parenting program that tailors the guidelines recommendations for individual parents' needs and supports parents in their attempts to implement these recommendations. Pilot data demonstrates that parents find the program useful, reporting that they have made significant changes in their parenting after accessing the program.

1.2. Parenting Strategies: Preventing Depression and Anxiety provides parenting guidelines to prevent depression and anxiety disorders in their (1) teenagers and (2) primary school-aged children, as well as (3) guidelines for parents in responding to school reluctance or refusal. Two corresponding personalised online parenting programs have been developed to support parents in implementing these guidelines. We have completed two large randomised controlled trials of the program for parents of teenagers (Partners in Parenting; PiP) and a third RCT evaluating the program for parents of primary-school chidren (Partners in Parenting Kids, PiP-Kids). PiP is currently freely available via headspace National, as part of a partnership between Monash University and headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation. PiP-Ed (PiP for Education) is also freely available for parents of adolescents with concerns about their child's school attendance.


1.3 Partners in Parenting - Plus (PiP+)

PiP+ is the therapist-assisted version of the Partners in Parenting online program, designed to empower parents whose child is experiencing clinical-level difficulties with depression and anxiety. We have co-designed with parents, young people and professionals various versions of PiP+ to address school-refusal challenges, suicide risk and non-suicidal self-injury, and trauma experiences associated with depression and anxiety.

2. An online parenting intervention to prevent affective disorders in high-risk adolescents: The PIPA trial
In collaboration with Prof Andy Thompson and Prof Max Birchwood at the University of Warwick, we have adapted the Partners in Parenting online intervention for the UK population, and are conducting a definitive RCT to evaluate its effectiveness and cost-effectiveness as a targeted prevention program for parents whose adolescent is at high risk for developing an affective disorder. This project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research, UK.


3. Increasing Parental Engagement in Preventive Parenting Programs

Despite robust evidence indicating the long-term benefits of preventive parenting programs for child mental health, the population-level impact of many evidence-based programs is limited by the poor uptake and engagement by parents. Moreover, parenting research in general, and evaluation studies of parenting programs specifically, typically see an under-representation by certain subgroups of parents. These include fathers, parents of lower socio-economic positions, and parents residing in rural and remote regions. In this program of research, we are examining the factors that hinder and facilitate parents' engagement in preventive programs, with the goal of increasing parental uptake of programs that will improve their child's mental health.


4. Childhood Adversity and Associated Depression and Anxiety

This project is part of a Centre for Research Excellence funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council in partnership with Beyond Blue. It aims to prevent the significant mental health morbidity load of depression, anxiety problems and suicidality experienced by children living in adversity and exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences.

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Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Clinical Psychology, Master of Psychology, University of Melbourne

Award Date: 26 Feb 2010

Psychology, PhD, Temperament, family processes, and adolescent depressive symptomatology: Emotion regulation as a mediator , University of Melbourne

Award Date: 31 Mar 2007

Research area keywords

  • Online Interventions
  • Parenting
  • Children
  • Adolescents
  • Prevention
  • Alcohol Misuse
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or