• 115 Citations
  • 4 h-Index
19962019
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Personal profile

Biography

I am a Registered Psychologist, with specialist endorsement in Health Psychology, and I also have a Masters in Clinical Psychology. Geropsychology (the psychology of older adulthood) is my main interest, in particular, the concept of positive ageing and how it can be achieved. I am also interested in adult development more broadly and in adjustment during both older adulthood and midlife, and how development and wellbeing are influenced by chronic illness, chronic pain, and stress. Positive psychology is also a key interest of mine, particularly predictors of health and wellbeing.

I'm also keen to make psychological knowledge available to the general public, and to older adults in particular.

Research interests

My research interests include: predictors of wellbeing in older adults, particularly applying positive psychology concepts to predicting well-being in midlife and older adults (such as optimism, social support, self-compassion, acceptance, hope and proactive coping). I am also interested in: adjustment of older adults to life events and uncontrollable circumstances (such as fires, floods and cyclones), chronic disease and chronic pain (such as arthritis pain); and in adapting therapy for older adults.

Community engagement

I am a monthly columnist for the Council on the Ageing (COTA) NSW and for the Sydney Observer magazine. I write mostly about positive ageing and wellbeing more broadly, but also about other issues faced by older adults including caregiving and bereavement, chronic illness and pain, and mental health issues such as depression (all areas which I have researched and/or taught).

I am a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) College of Health Psychologists, and a member of the APS Psychology and Ageing Interest group, and the APS Positive Psychology Interest Group. I am also a full member of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA), and the Emerging Researchers in Ageing (ERA).

My students, colleagues and I work with community organisations usually those focussed on older adults, for example Uniting, and National Seniors.

I also review papers for a variety of journals including: Journal of Happiness Studies; Aging & Mental Health; Australasian Journal on Ageing; & Personal Relationships.

In the University I have most recently been a member of the Faculty of Human Sciences Human Ethics Committee, of the Psychology Department's Teaching & Learning Committee & Fourth Year Committee.

Teaching

I teach undergraduate developmental psychology, particularly adult development and ageing. I have also taught health psychology at both second and fourth year levels, and to Masters of Clinical Psychology students. I have previously also taught Masters level students how to adapt therapy for older adults. I also taught other undergraduate units including Adult Development and Ageing, Social Psychology, Psychopathology, and Introductory Psychology.

I have won several awards for my teaching. and teach with commitment and enthusiasm.

Research student supervision

I have supervised Honours students in topics realated to positive psychology and also in wellbeing in older adults. I have also supervised a Clinical Psychology Masters student who is looking at proactive coping in older adults.

Education/Academic qualification

Psychology, PhD, Macquarie University

3 Mar 200928 Jul 2017

Clinical Psychology, MClinPsych

… → 1994

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  • 9 Similar Profiles
Psychology Medicine & Life Sciences
Social Support Medicine & Life Sciences
Hope Medicine & Life Sciences
well-being Social Sciences
Social Adjustment Medicine & Life Sciences
Pain Medicine & Life Sciences
Research Medicine & Life Sciences
Chronic Pain Medicine & Life Sciences

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Research Outputs 1996 2019

  • 115 Citations
  • 4 h-Index
  • 7 Article
  • 1 Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary/reference book

Self-compassion: A resource for positive aging

Phillips, W. J. & Ferguson, S. J., Jul 2013, In : Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. 68, 4, p. 529-539 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

well-being
resources
Ego
integrity
Psychology

Optimism and well-being in older adults: The mediating role of social support and perceived control

Ferguson, S. & Goodwin, A., 1 Jan 2010, In : International Journal of Aging and Human Development. 71, 1, p. 43-68 26 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Social Support
Psychology
Social Perception
Optimism
Research

Hope for the future and avoidance of the present: associations with well-being in older adults

Ferguson, S. J., Taylor, A. J. & McMahon, C., Oct 2017, In : Journal of Happiness Studies. 18, 5, p. 1485-1506 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

well-being
present
adulthood
psychology
event

Hope

Ferguson, S. J., 26 Feb 2018, Encyclopedia of behavioral medicine. Gellman, M. & Turner, J. R. (eds.). New York, NY: Springer, Springer Nature, p. 1-3 3 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary/reference bookResearch

Geropsychology: Some potential growth areas in psychological research and practice

Ferguson, S. J. & Koder, D. A., Nov 1998, In : Australian Psychologist. 33, 3, p. 187-192 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Psychology
Growth
Research
Age Groups
Elder Abuse

Prizes