• 3403 Citations
  • 33 h-Index
1981 …2020

Research output per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

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.

  • 22 Similar Profiles

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


Research Outputs

Addressing the evidence gap: protocol for an effectiveness study of Circle of Security Parenting

Maxwell, A-M., McMahon, C., Huber, A., Hawkins, E. & Reay, R. E., 9 Sep 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Frontiers in Global Women's Health.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • A randomized controlled trial comparing parent child interaction therapy - toddler, circle of security- parenting™ and waitlist controls in the treatment of disruptive behaviors for children aged 14-24 months: study protocol

    Kohlhoff, J., Cibralic, S., Wallace, N., Morgan, S., McMahon, C., Hawkins, E., Eapen, V., Briggs, N., Huber, A. & McNeil, C., 31 Aug 2020, In : BMC Psychology. 8, 1, 14 p., 93.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 2 Downloads (Pure)

    Attachment security: influences on social and emotional competence, executive functioning and readiness for school

    Mares, S. & McMahon, C., 2020, Health and education interdependence: thriving from birth to adulthood. Midford, R., Nutton, G., Hyndman, B. & Silburn, S. (eds.). Singapore: Springer, Springer Nature, p. 55-74 20 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Cross-cultural comparison of maternal mind-mindedness among Australian and Chinese mothers

    Dai, Q., McMahon, C. & Lim, A. K., 1 Jul 2020, In : International Journal of Behavioral Development. 44, 4, p. 365-370 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    5 Downloads (Pure)

    Parental mind-mindedness: comparing parents’ representations of their children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and siblings

    Ansari, S., McMahon, C. & Bernier, A., Mar 2020, In : Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. 71, p. 1-11 11 p., 101491.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle