Research Cluster - Critical Health and Social Psychology


Critical Health and Social Psychology (CHaSP) is a broad field which has two major defining features:

  1. it draws on notions of ‘criticality’ and critical psychology and
  2. it involves the physical health and wellbeing of people, groups, communities, and/or societies. 

It draws upon a variety of theoretical and methodological viewpoints to attempt to overcome the positivist assumptions of much of mainstream psychology and highlight broader social and political issues involved in health and wellbeing. As noted by the International Society for Critical Health Psychology, people working within CHP “share an interest in various critical ideas (e.g. social constructionism, post-modernism, feminism, marxism, etc.) and various qualitative and participatory methods of research (e.g. discourse analysis, grounded theory, action research, ethnography, etc.) and their relevance to understanding health and illness. Further, they share an awareness of the social, political and cultural dimensions of health and illness (e.g. poverty, racism, sexism, political oppression, etc.) and an active commitment to reducing human suffering and promoting improved quality of life, especially among those sections of society most in need.” (ISCHP, 2015, at



Denise Blake - Wellington
Kerry Chamberlain - Auckland
Jocelyn Handy - Manawatu
Ross Hebden - Manawatu
Sarah Herbert - Manawatu
Darrin Hodgetts - Auckland
Veronica Hopner - Auckland
Ella Kahu - Wellington
Antonia Lyons - Wellington
Tracy Morison - Manawatu
Rachael Pond - Manawatu
Christine Stephens - Manawatu
Benita Stiles-Smith - Auckland
Keith Tuffin - Wellington
Clifford Van Ommen - Auckland

Doctoral research students

David Anstiss
Kayla Marshall
Rebekah Graham
Kathy Hastelow
Kathryn McGuigan
Ria Pugmire
Vicky Clark


Kerry Chamberlain

Antonia Lyons

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