Maria Kangas

Associate Professor

  • 1406 Citations
  • 15 h-Index
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Personal profile


Maria Kangas, BA(Hons), MClinPsych, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, Centre for Emotional Health, Macquarie University. She is the current Director of the Master of Clinical Psychology program at Macquarie University. Maria is a registered psychologist and has dual endorsements in Clinical and Counselling Psychology with the Psychology Board of Australia. Maria completed her Masters of Clinical Psychology degree at the University of Sydney and completed her PhD at UNSW. She also completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA.

Research interests

Maria specialises in the assessment and treatment of stress/PTSD, anxiety and mood disturbances in trauma and medical (e.g., cancer) populations. Through her research she has focused on understanding emotion regulation, coping strategies and autobiographical memory functioning in helping people adapt to stressful life events, including medical health problems across the lifespan.

She has also developed and tested CBT and ACT-based therapy programs tailored towards specific stress and health populations to help people recover and enhance their resiliency and growth following adversity.  

Since 2013 she has extended her research to investigate somatic problems (including Somatoform and Health Anxiety disturbances) in children and adults.

She is also working on emotion regulatory programs to assist at-risk youth in preventing the developmental of psychological problems.

She has also extended her research to address clinician and consumer (client) factors in determining treatment knowledge and outcomes in therapeutic settings.


Maria currently convenes and teaches the following programs in the Master of Clinical Psychology program:

1)    Clinical Psychology Therapy 1 (PSYC985 – Convenor)

2)    Clinical Research Proposal (PSYC990 – Convenor)

3)    Clinical Psychology Dissertation 1 and 2 (PSYC991; PSYC992)

4)    Clinical Psychology Therapy 3 (PSYC993 – Co-Convenor)

5)    Clinical Psychological Assessment and Psychopathology 3 (PSYC994:Teaching paediatric & complex trauma seminars).

Research student supervision

Maria supervises students in PhD, Masters and Honours programs. Topics include:

- Trauma/PTSD; Stress management; and Resiliency and Post-traumatic growth processes

- Emotion regulation - in preventing and maintaining well-being

- Autobiographical memory processes; 

- Somatization problems including health anxiety;

- Evaluating treatment effectiveness  for Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Mindfulness approaches;  

- Psycho-oncology & chronic health.

- Role of Physical Activity/Exercise in enhancing emotion regulation and well-being in stressed, traumatized and depressed populations

* Specific examples of current projects Maria is supervising include: 

  • Evaluating specific factors and mechanisms (e.g. humour, self concept, executive functioning, physical activity) in contributing to enhanced emotion regulatory and coping outcomes including resiliency following stressful and traumatic events.
  • Role of parental trauma history, somatic and emotional regulatory functioning in influencing parenting stress and child well-being.
  • Evaluating community based programs for stressed, traumatized and disadvantaged youth and adult samples. 
  • Mental health literacy including cross-cultural samples

If you are interested in being supervised by Maria please contact her via email:

Research engagement

  • Editor, Australian Psychologist  [2016-2020] []
  • Editorial board for the following international journals:

            - Psychological Bulletin,

            - Behaviour Research and Therapy,

            - Stress and Health

  • University Chair, Macquarie University Fellowship Scheme [2017-2018; Deputy Chair – 2016]
  • Working group member of the International Consortium for Health Outcomes (ICHOM) Standard Set for Depression and Anxiety
  • Member of the Fear Taskforce for the Human Affectome Project [2015 – present].


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Anxiety Medicine & Life Sciences
Psychology Medicine & Life Sciences
Cognitive Therapy Medicine & Life Sciences
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders Medicine & Life Sciences
Depression Medicine & Life Sciences
Mental Health Medicine & Life Sciences
Stress Disorders, Traumatic, Acute Medicine & Life Sciences
Intellectual Disability Medicine & Life Sciences

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

Projects 2006 2021

Research Outputs 1997 2019

Practice Guidelines
Intellectual Disability
best practice

Best practice principles when working with individuals with intellectual disability and comorbid mental health concerns

Man, J. & Kangas, M., 22 Jul 2019, In : Qualitative Health Research. 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Practice Guidelines
Intellectual Disability
Evidence-Based Practice
Mental Health

Carer experiences of services for adults with intellectual disabilities and Co-morbid mental Ill health or challenging behaviour

Man, J. & Kangas, M., 3 Apr 2019, In : Advances in Mental Health. 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Mental Health Services
Intellectual Disability
Mental Health

Current understanding of fear learning and memory in humans and animal models and the value of a linguistic approach for analyzing fear learning and memory in humans

Raber, J., Arzy, S., Bertolus, J. B., Depue, B., Haas, H. E., Hofmann, S. G., Kangas, M., Kensinger, E., Lowry, C. A., Marusak, H. A., Minnier, J., Mouly, A. M., Mühlberger, A., Norrholm, S. D., Peltonen, K., Pinna, G., Rabinak, C., Shiban, Y., Soreq, H., van der Kooij, M. A. & 4 othersLowe, L., Weingast, L. T., Yamashita, P. & Boutros, S. W., Oct 2019, In : Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 105, p. 136-177 42 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Animal Models
Biological Phenomena

Economic evaluation of stepped care for the management of childhood anxiety disorders: results from a randomised trial

Chatterton, M. L., Rapee, R. M., Catchpool, M., Lyneham, H. J., Wuthrich, V., Hudson, J. L., Kangas, M. & Mihalopoulos, C., 1 Jul 2019, In : Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 53, 7, p. 673-682 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Anxiety Disorders
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Quality-Adjusted Life Years
Costs and Cost Analysis
Confidence Intervals

Activities 2018 2018

  • 1 Oral presentation

Ten ways to name depression: an exploratory investigation in an adult Bangladeshi group

Samiul Hossain (Speaker), Maria Kangas (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation