It is completely fascinating how two people can undergo the exact same stressful situation (such as an exam or sitting in traffic) and yet respond to and experience that situation differently. It is even more fascinating that the way the body physiologically responds to stress also differs from person to person. Chris is interested in understanding where these differences come from – what is it about an individual that can produce such drastic changes in response to challenges and hardship and, ultimately, what could we potentially harness to improve the way we cope with everyday stress and minimise the health burdens that sometimes follow with stress. In his PhD, Chris explored the role of stress beliefs in these differences and, since then, has published a number of articles on stress beliefs and health beliefs more generally. Inherently, these are all complex issues that call for a multidisciplinary perspective on stress from a biopsychosocial perspective. But less obvious are the issues of measurement and laboratory inductions of stress. How do we ensure that our participants are all undergoing the same type of stress? How do we even capture the stress response in an individual? How do we account for the great interindividual and intraindividual differences in the stress response? How does stress theory explain and rationalise these complexities? How do we reconcile the many different (and sometimes conflicting) theories and models of stress? These are deeper questions that I am also interested in answering. Outside of stress, I have been involved in intervention and implementation research in psycho-oncology, self-compassion intervention research for body image, research examining the relationship between self-compassion and hope, resiliency, emotional eating, and general wellbeing, and research exploring the efficacy of DBT and tCBT in a range of populations. Currently, Chris is one of the lead investigators of the Working Around Youth worker Stress (WAYS) research group at Cairnmillar. This group focuses on understanding the processes and experiences of stress in youth residential workers with the larger aim of developing interventions that minimise the negative effects of experiencing stress in this workforce.


  • Advanced statistical analyses in a range of analytic programs (SPSS, JASP, R, Jamovi, Stata, MPlus, GPower)
  • Systematic, scoping, and integrative reviews
  • Qualitative and quantitative methodologies
  • Experimental and observational designs
  • Longitudinal and cross-sectional designs
  • Health Psychology

Research Interests

  • Psychological stress
  • Beliefs
  • Big-5 and HEXACO personality structures
  • Emotion regulation
  • Self-compassion
  • Self-forgiveness

Area(s): Health, Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, Social, Organisational, Sport & Exercise

Levels: Honours, Masters of Clinical, DPsych, PhD