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Prof Christine Stephens staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 85059

Prof Christine Stephens Psychology


School of Psychology

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

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 1 11
Team Member 0 2

Current Projects

Project Title: Ageing, housing and health: A collaborative study

Date Range: 2016 - 2017

Funding Body: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Project Team:

Project Title: Enabling Participation by Older People

Date Range: 2014 - 2018

Funding Body: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Project Team:

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


Alpass, FA., Szabo, A., Allen, J., & Stephens, CV. (2017). Health effects of informal caring in New Zealand: longitudinal findings from the Health, Work and Retirement study. International Journal of Care and Caring. 1(3), 309-329
[Journal article]Authored by: Allen, J., Alpass, F., Stephens, C., Szabo, A.
Chamberlain, K., Lyons, AC., & Stephens, C. (2017). Critical health psychology in New Zealand: Developments, directions and reflections.. J Health Psychol. , 1359105317734871
[Journal article]Authored by: Chamberlain, K., Lyons, A., Stephens, C.

Supervision and Teaching

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 5 10
CoSupervisor 6 4

Current Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Joanna Macfarlane - Doctor of Clinical Psychology
    Intergenerational attitudes and experiences of older adults
  • Kate Hebenton - Doctor of Clinical Psychology
    Experiences of preschool children involved in an intergenerational programme
  • Yvonne Woodhead - Doctor of Clinical Psychology
    Elder Abuse in New Zealand: Social Risk Factors
  • Sarah Malthus - PhD
    Development & implementation of two lifestyle intervention approaches for patients with pre-diabetes : A randomised controlled trial
  • Sarah Herbert - PhD
    Alcohol Use and Older Maori in Aotearoa

CoSupervisor of:

  • Tayla Reti - Doctor of Clinical Psychology
    The impact of physical activity on Wellington free ambulance workers' experience of cumulative trauma
  • Kat Littlewood - PhD
    The veterinarian's role in end-of-life management of geriatric cats in New Zealand
  • John Guilaran - PhD
    Social Support among Emergency First Responders: A Comparison of New Zealand and Philippine Samples
  • Ria Pugmire - PhD
    Healthy bodies: Picture books and children's perspectives
  • Nick Laurence - Doctor of Clinical Psychology
    A pilot investigation into the efficacy of Mindfulness-integrated Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for general distress and general wellbeing
  • Michelle Pedersen - Doctor of Clinical Psychology
    'Feels a bit naughty when you¿re a mum¿- Alcohol use amongst mothers with preschool children.

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • 2016 - Barbara Mary Horrell - PhD
    Exploring informal caregivers' health needs from a capability perspective
  • 2015 - Eva Maree Neely - PhD
    Moving beyond Nutrients- Nurturing Young People's Social Health and School Connectedness through Food
  • 2014 - Eleanor Ruth Kahu - PhD
    Inviting study in: The engagement of mature-aged distance students in the transition to university
  • 2014 - Robyn Jean Tuohy - PhD
    The influence of personal and socio-cultural contexts on older adults' preparedness for a disaster
  • 2014 - Heather Adele Heron-Speirs - PhD
    Understanding the cancer-related distress and coping of men from provincial New Zealand: 'Bullet proof' meets radical prostatectomy
  • 2014 - Siu Chun Tse - PhD
    Harmonisation of self: Narratives of older Chinese about ageing,health and wellbeing
  • 2013 - Caroline Mary McIntosh - PhD
    Young children's meaning-making about the causes of illness within the family context
  • 2012 - Annette Henricksen - PhD
    The Pursuit of Happiness: An Exploration of Older Adults' Intentional Happiness-Enhancing Activities & Their Association with Wellbeing & Health
  • 2012 - Ian David de Terte - PhD
    Psychological Resilience in the Face of Occupational Trauma: An Evaluation of a Multidimensional Model
  • 2010 - John Hamilton Noone - PhD
    Psychological and socioeconomic factors influencing men and women's planning for retirement
  • 2006 - Ms Mary Rose Breheny - PhD
    Constructions of Adolescent Motherhood: Discourse Analysis of the Health Professional Literature and Health Professionals' Talk about Young Mothers

CoSupervisor of:

  • 2016 - Shekinah Faith Manning-Jones - Doctor of Clinical Psychology
    Vicarious traumatic exposure among New Zealand health professionals: An exploration of coping strategies and vicarious posttraumatic growth
  • 2015 - Evelyn Myra Friel Aranas - Doctor of Clinical Psychology
    An Investigation into the Effectiveness of the Health Conditions Service Group Manualised Treatment Programme
  • 2014 - Raewyn Janice 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 Anna Mary Paddison - PhD
    Type 2 Diabetes: A Self-Regulatory Experience

Media and Links


  • 10 Nov 2016 - Online, Newspaper
    Future New Zealand: Oh, give me a home...
    Future NZ is an annual publication produced by Massey University and the New Zealand Herald. It provides a peek into New Zealand’s future, outlining the challenges and opportunities facing New Zealand

Other Links

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 5:00pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey