People

 

Principal Investigator

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Deirdre Brown, PhD

Deirdre completed her BA, PhD, and Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology at the University of Otago under the supervision of Professor Margaret-Ellen Pipe. After completing her education in 2003, she took a postdoctoral fellowship funded by the Foundation for Research Science and Technology, New Zealand, at Lancaster University in the UK. Upon returning to New Zealand, she worked as a clinical psychologist in the Children’s Outpatients department at Dunedin Hospital. She joined VUW in 2009, and became a Senior Lecturer in 2013.

You can view Deirdre’s staff profile on the Victoria University of Wellington website.

Research Assistant

Helen Helen Pierce

Helen is completing her MSc in Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington. She is also a Research Assistant working on the MARCIE project. She is a point-of-contact for queries from schools that are involved in the project. Her work involves visiting primary schools in the Wellington region and interviewing children who are participating in the research. Helen completed her Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology at Massey University.
Helen can be contacted at helen.pierce@vuw.ac.nz

Research Nurse

Mel Mel Gaffaney

Mel is a Research Nurse working on the MARCIE project. Her work involves visiting primary schools in the Wellington region and giving check-ups to the children who are participating in the research. Mel was one of only ten young nurses selected for the inaugural Wellington Hospital New Graduate Program, and went on to have a ten year career as a paediatric nurse. She spent time working in intensive care units in Wellington and London. Mel is now a busy mum and runs an art business. She jumped at the chance to be involved in the MARCIE project and once again work with ‘tiny humans’.

Postgraduate Students

Helen Helen Pierce

Helen is completing her MSc by thesis, in Psychology, at VUW. She is also a Research Assistant working on the MARCIE project. Helen completed her Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology at Massey University. Helen is interested in what people think about how well children can describe a recent event.

Honours Students

Josie Sherriff

Emma Weir

Recent Postgraduate Students and Staff

Lynley Lynley McLay
Hands on learning: The influence of hand gestures on children’s recall of scientific information.Lynley completed her PhD in 2017. Her PhD examines the potential benefits of observing hand gestures while children are learning about scientific concepts.
Steph Steph McNamee: Research Assistant

Steph was a Research Assistant working on the MARCIE project. Her work involved visiting primary schools in the Wellington region and interviewing children who are participating in the research.

Alex Alex Hill
Dolls, Diagrams and Drawings: Interviewers’ Perspectives on Visual Aids in Child Witness InterviewsAlex completed her MSc in Forensic Psychology in 2017. Her MSc thesis, focused on the use of visual aids in child witness interviews, and understanding the interviewer’s perspectives on the use of these aids and how their practice relates to the research and protocol recommendations.
Frances (Frankie) Gaston
Young people’s comprehension of the Rights Caution in New Zealand.Frankie completed her MSc in Forensic Psychology in 2017. Her MSc thesis examined young people’s understanding of the NZ Rights Canton, as part of her Masters in Forensic Psychology.
Missy Missy Wolfman
Understanding and addressing challenges faced by forensic interviewers in their work with children.
Missy completed her PhD in 2016. Her research interests focused on forensic interviewing practice investigating maltreatment with children, and the factors affecting interviewers’ adherence to evidence-based recommendations. This included an examination of current practice of forensic interviewing in New Zealand, access to supervision and professional development, and evaluation of a potential self-supervision tool for maintaining best-practice.
Paula Paula O’Connor
Mapping Memories: Do Sketchplans Help Young Adolescents Recall more Information about an Event?Paula completed her MSc in the Forensic programme in 2016. Her MSc thesis focused on the use of sketch-plan drawings during interviews with children, and whether such drawings actually increase the amount of accurate information reported from the child. She is also interested in offender risk assessment and rehabilitation.

Previous Honours Students

Tasmin Jury: The effect of repeated interviews on the narrative coherence of children with intellectual disabilities.

Catherine Pihema: Doing the ground work on ground rules: The effects of an early interview, age and cognitive ability on children’s performance and use of ground rules.

Amanda Wallis: Impact of intellectual disability on children’s narrative coherence over repeated and delayed interviews.

Emily Miller: On a scale from 1 to really really mad: Children’s narratives and ratings of their anger.

Emma-Jayne Brown: Lauren Palmer: In your own words: Narrative quality in children with ADHD symptoms compared to typically developing children.

Sophie Beaumont: “Tell me everything you can remember”: Amount and accuracy of event memory – children with ADHD symptoms.

Sian McKennie: Is it all in the timing? Drawing and children’s recall of their experiences.

Rachel Borton: The ability of forensic interviewing strategies and protocols to elicit more complete and accurate statements from children.

Missy Wolfman: 

Lynley McLay: The effects of ADHD symptoms on children’s responses to suggestive questioning.  

Previous Masters Students

Wendy Higgs: Using Images to Help Children Talk About Their Experiences

Rachel Borton: Using Photographs and Human Body Diagrams as Visual Aids to Help Children Talk About Bodily Touch

Helen Andreae: A Study Of Auti: A Socially Assistive Robotic Toy

Amy Lovegrove:  Social Desirability and Parental Reporting of Children’s Health-Related Behaviours

Collaborators

Prof Michael Lamb, Cambridge, UK

Prof Charles Brainerd, Cornell University, USA

Prof Margaret-Ellen Pipe, CUNY, USA

Prof Charlie Lewis, Lancaster University, UK

Prof Maryanne Garry, University of Waikato, New Zealand

Assoc Prof Rachael Taylor, University of Otago, New Zealand

Assoc Prof Rachel Zajac, University of Otago, New Zealand

Assoc Prof Karen Salmon, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Dr Clare-Ann Fortune, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

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