Prof Chris Stephens Psychology

Prof Chris Stephens staff profile picture


School of Psychology

Telephone: +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 85059


Professional Biography

My work in health psychology and health promotion is presently focused on the requirements of the ageing population and the need to provide information for supportive social policy and practice.  The Health and Ageing Research Team (HART) run a longitudinal study of ageing that has been following older New Zealanders and their quality of life in work and retirement since 2006.  Web page: http:\\  Twitter: MasseyHART


  • PhD - Massey University (1996)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Health Psychology, Health Promotion, Ageing and Health, Social and Environmental supports for ageing well


Health and Well-being

Area of Expertise

Field of Research Codes
Developmental Psychology and Ageing (170102): Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106): Psychology (170100): Psychology And Cognitive Sciences (170000): Social and Community Psychology (170113)


Health Psychology, Health Promotion, Ageing and health

Research Projects

Completed Projects

Project Title: The participation of older people: Independence, Contribution, Connection.

Very accessible attractive and informative reports on the findings about i) elder aspirations for independent living ii) the active work contributions of older people iii) the contribution and potential of digital media. will have been received and read by stake holders. The report dissemination will be supported by policy and public seminars, web site publications, and media releases as appropriate.
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Date Range: 2012 - 2014

Funding Body: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Project Team:

Project Title: Developing an Economic Living Standards Index for Elders

Living standards are proving to be an essential marker of economic status and well-being. By 2012 a theoretically based and statistically robust index of living standards for older people will be provided for use in population research (such as the NZ Longitudinal Study of Ageing), by Government research groups (such as the Ministry of Social Development), and for assessment use by community groups (such as Age Concern). This module will be used to assess and track changes in the living standards of older people. Limitations in standards of living constrain health and social participation and effective policy change to improve living standards requires early identification of deterioration. Measuring the living standards of older people effectively will provide a scientific basis for social policy advice to advance the independence and well-being of older people. The instrument developed in this project will equip researchers, policy makers, and community groups to assess gaps and recommend social and economic policies that ensure positive ageing and participation for older New Zealanders.
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Date Range: 2009 - 2012

Funding Body: Foundation for Research, Science & Technology

Project Team:

Project Title: The New Zealand Longitudinal Study of Work, Social, and Psychological Participation in an Ageing Population: Enhancing Community Participation, Independence and Wellbeing

Date Range: 2007 - 2012

Funding Body: Foundation for Research, Science & Technology

Project Team:

Research Outputs


Herbert, S., & Stephens, C. (2015). Alcohol Use and Older Ma¯ori in Aotearoa. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse. 14(3), 251-269
[Journal article]Authored by: Stephens, C.
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Towers, A., Yeung, P., Stevenson, B., Stephens, C., & Alpass, F. (2015). Quality of life in indigenous and non-indigenous older adults: assessing the CASP-12 factor structure and identifying a brief CASP-3. Quality of life research : an international journal of quality of life aspects of treatment, care and rehabilitation. 24(1), 193-203
[Journal article]Authored by: Alpass, F., Stephens, C., Towers, A.
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Herbert, S., & Stephens, C. (2015). Alcohol Use and Older Māori in Aotearoa. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse.
[Journal article]Authored by: Stephens, C.
Read Online: DOI icon Read Abstract: abstract icon

Gibson, R., Gander, P., Alpass, F., & Stephens, C. (2015). Effect of caregiving status on the sleep of older New Zealanders. Australasian Journal on Ageing. 34(3), 155-159
[Journal article]Authored by: Alpass, F., Gander, P., Stephens, C.
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Chamberlain, KP., Stephens, C., & Lyons, AC. (2015, July). A critical examination of the development of health psychology in New Zealand. Presented at 9th Biennual Conference of the International Society of Critical Health Psychology. Grahamstown, South Africa.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Chamberlain, K., Lyons, A., Stephens, C.
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Supervision and Teaching

Papers Coordinated

  • 175.744 Health Psychology: Promoting Health
  • 175.749 Health Psychology Practicum

Current Postgraduate Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Sarah Herbert - PhD
    Alcohol Use and Older Maori in Aotearoa
  • Eva Neely - PhD
    Moving beyond Nutrients- Nurturing Young People's Social Health and School Connectedness through Food
  • Barbara Horrell - PhD
    Exploring informal caregivers' health needs from a capability perspective

Completed Postgraduate Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • 2014 - Robyn Tuohy- PhD
    The influence of personal and socio-cultural contexts on older adults' preparedness for a disaster
  • 2014 - Ella Kahu- PhD
    Inviting study in: The engagement of mature-aged distance students in the transition to university
  • 2014 - Heather Heron-Speirs- PhD
    Understanding the cancer-related distress and coping of men from provincial New Zealand: 'Bullet proof' meets radical prostatectomy
  • 2014 - Lorraine Eade- PhD
    Te Tau Ihu Maori Mental Health outcomes and tangata whaiora experiences in Te Wahi Oranga (Nelson Acute Mental Health Inpatient Unit): An exploratory study
  • 2014 - Siu Tse- PhD
    Harmonisation of self: Narratives of older Chinese about ageing,health and wellbeing
  • 2013 - Caroline McIntosh- PhD
    Young children's meaning-making about the causes of illness within the family context
  • 2012 - Ian de Terte- PhD
    Psychological Resilience in the Face of Occupational Trauma: An Evaluation of a Multidimensional Model
  • 2010 - Jack Noone- PhD
    Psychological and socioeconomic factors influencing men and women's planning for retirement
  • 2006 - Ms Mary Breheny- PhD
    Constructions of Adolescent Motherhood: Discourse Analysis of the Health Professional Literature and Health Professionals' Talk about Young Mothers

CoSupervisor of:

  • 2015 - Evelyn Aranas- Doctor of Clinical Psychology
    An Investigation into the Effectiveness of a Manualised Group Treatment Programme for Chronic Health Conditions
  • 2014 - Raewyn Barry- Doctor of Clinical Psychology
    Starting the Conversation about Eating and Body Image: The Clinical Experience of Young Women with Type 1 Diabetes
  • 2007 - Charlotte Paddison- PhD
    Type 2 Diabetes: A Self-Regulatory Experience

Media and Links

Other Links

  • HART web page - All information and outputs from the HART projects

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