Cathy McMahon

Associate Professor

  • 3170 Citations
  • 32 h-Index
1981 …2019
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Personal profile


My early career was as a Developmental Physiotherapist. I studied Psychology whilst raising my own children and completed my doctorate as a mature age student. I now teach and research in Developmental Psychology  with a focus on early development.

Research interests

  • The parent-child attachment relationship
  • Psychological adjustment of parents during pregnancy and early parenthood and the social-emotional wellbeing of their children in the context of various reproductive risk factors – in particular, perinatal mood disorders and infertility/assisted conception.
  • Working collaboratively with community service providers to build an evidence base for programs that support parents in the early years.  Current projects include a mulit-site study evaluating the effectiveness of the Circle of Security Parenting intervention 
  • Exploring the cross-cultural validity of various measures of parent-child attachment in collaboration with developmental researchers in China and Hong Kong.   



Research student supervision

I supervise Masters Level and HDR students studying the parent-child relationship and interventions that support positive parenting.


  • PSY 235 Developmental Psychology (second year, Convenor)
  • PSY 468 4th year: Developmental Problems across the Lifespan (Convenor)
  • Workshop: Attachment Theory Informed Approaches to Working with Families (Professional Masters Program) 
  • Guest Lectures PSY 105 Introduction to Developmental Psychology, PSY339 Applied Developmental Psychology, Masters of Public Health


Research engagement

I work collaboratively on research projects with

  • Tresillian Family Care Centres 
  • St John of God Raphael Centres 
  • Marymead Child and Family Centre ACT
  • ACT Perinatal Mental Health Service 
  • IVFAustralia 

Community engagement

  • Co-Director HDR for Department of Psychology 
  • Executive Committee Healthy Attachment Australia New Zealand (HAANZ)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Cathy McMahon is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 13 Similar Profiles
Mothers Medicine & Life Sciences
Pregnancy Medicine & Life Sciences
Depression Medicine & Life Sciences
Postpartum Depression Medicine & Life Sciences
Parenting Medicine & Life Sciences
Fertilization in Vitro Medicine & Life Sciences
Anxiety Medicine & Life Sciences
Social Adjustment Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2007 2019

Research Outputs 1981 2018

Examining ecological constraints on the intergenerational transmission of attachment via individual participant data meta-analysis

Verhage, M. L., Fearon, R. M. P., van IJzendoorn, M. H., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., Madigan, S., Roisman, G. I., Oosterman, M., Behrens, K. Y., Wong, M. S., Mangelsdorf, S., Priddis, L. E., Brisch, K-H. & The Collaboration on Attachment Transmission Synthesis, Nov 2018, In : Child Development. 89, 6, p. 2023-2037 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
environmental factors

Non-attuned mind-mindedness, infant negative affect, and emotional availability: assessing mind-mindedness during the still-face paradigm

McMahon, C. & Newey, B., Nov 2018, In : Infancy. 23, 6, p. 873-892 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Infant Behavior

The effectiveness of a sustained nurse home visiting intervention for Aboriginal infants compared with non-Aboriginal infants and with Aboriginal infants receiving usual child health care: a quasi-experimental trial - the Bulundidi Gudaga study

Kemp, L., Grace, R., Comino, E., Jackson-Pulver, L., McMahon, C., Harris, E., Harris, M., George, A. & Mack, H. A., 3 Aug 2018, In : BMC Health Services Research. 18, p. 1-13 13 p., 599.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Community Health Nurses
Child Care
Delivery of Health Care
Perinatal Care

The role of paternal mind-mindedness in preschoolers' self-regulated conduct

Gagne, C., Bernier, A. & McMahon, C., 1 May 2018, In : Infant and Child Development. 27, 3, p. 1-12 12 p., e2081.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Behavior Control

Challenging contexts for contemporary Australian families

Camberis, A-L. & McMahon, C., 2017, Children, families and communities. Grace, R., Hodge, K. & McMahon, C. (eds.). 5th ed. South Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press, p. 144-168 25 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review