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Study Manager, PhD Candidate

BPsych(Hons), PhD Candidate (Public Health)


Mary is a Study Manager and PhD Candidate in the Child Health Development and Education team. Mary’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms contributing to inequalities during the early years, ultimately aiming to reduce inequalities and inequities for children and adolescents.

Mary’s research interests and expertise span early childhood development and education, home language environment, youth mental health, children’s social and emotional wellbeing, school exclusionary discipline and the impact of screen time on children’s outcomes.

Mary currently manages two NHMRC funded prospective cohort studies within the team, the Language in Little Ones (LiLO) study and the Electronic Use in Little Ones (EUiLO) study. The LiLO study focuses on understanding inequalities within the home language environment, as measured by the amount of talk, during the first five years of life and the impact this has on developmental outcomes at school entry. The EUiLO study, an NHMRC Ideas Grant where Mary is CIB, builds on the data collected from LiLO to examine the impact of screen use during the early years, how this differs across socioeconomic groups and what impact it has on children’s development. Mary’s PhD utilises data collected from LiLO to understand the trajectories of parent talk and whether parent talk mediates the relationship between socioeconomic status and child development outcomes. These findings will help inform future interventions to support parents to provide talkative home environments and in turn improve children’s school readiness. Mary also collaborates on the Wellbeing and Engagement Collection study which uses a population health approach to understanding children and adolescents social and emotional wellbeing, and it’s influence on other outcomes such as academic achievement, exclusionary discipline and attendance at school.