Senior Research Fellow
PhD (Public Health), PostGrad Dip (Health Promotion), BApp Sc
Dr Natasha Pearce is a health promotion researcher focused on the translation, implementation and scaling-up of evidence to achieve wellbeing and social impact for children, families and communities. A Senior Research Fellow within the Health Promotion and Education Research team at the Telethon Kids Institute in Western Australia, her work involves applying the principals of translation and implementation science in a range of health and education practice and policy settings. Specifically, her research has involved developing and evaluating a range of school and community-based interventions aimed at improving child and adolescent wellbeing with government, industry and research partners. Current work involves supporting government agencies in the uptake of evidence and providing system-level implementation support as well as the development and testing of interventions.
Her work covers a range of child and adolescent health issues including mental health, socio-emotional wellbeing, learning and behaviour, bullying and cyber bullying prevention, healthy eating and weight, drug, alcohol and road safety in schools. Dr Pearce has played a significant role within the research team responsible for the development, testing and dissemination of Friendly Schools: the most evidence-based whole-school bullying prevention intervention in Australia. With an educational background in public health and health promotion, Dr Pearce holds a strong interest in the field of prevention and implementation science and is committed to bridging the evidence to practice gap in getting what works to those that need it.
School Built Environments and Bullying Behaviour: A Conceptual Model Based on Qualitative Interviews
Interest in how the school built environment impacts bullying behaviour has gained momentum in recent years. While numerous studies have identified locations within schools where bullying frequently occurs, few studies have investigated the potential conceptual pathways linking school locations to bullying behaviour.Published research Bullying Human Capability School Attendance Food and NutritionOctober 2022
How does the school built environment impact students’ bullying behaviour? A scoping review
School bullying is a public health concern affecting the physical and mental health of children and young people. While school-based interventions to prevent bullying have been developed internationally, the effectiveness of many interventions has been mixed and modest.Published research Parenting & Families Bullying School Attendance Food and Nutrition Youth mental health School and Community WellbeingSeptember 2022
‘It’s All About Context’: Building School Capacity to Implement a Whole-School Approach to Bullying
Student bullying behaviours are a significant social issue in schools worldwide. Whilst school staff have access to quality bullying prevention interventions, schools can face significant challenges implementing the whole-school approach required to address the complexity of these behaviours.Published research Parenting & Families Child Health, Development & Education Bullying School Attendance School and Community WellbeingAugust 2022
Gender-Neutral Toilets: A Qualitative Exploration of Inclusive School Environments for Sexuality and Gender Diverse Youth in Western Australia
School toilets have been identified by sexuality and gender diverse (SGD) students as the least safe spaces in educational institutions. They are sites of verbal, physical and sexual victimisation.Published research Parenting & Families Gender Diversity Youth Mental Health School and Community WellbeingMay 2022
Educators’ Barriers and Facilitators to Physical Activity Policy Implementation in the Childcare Setting: Qualitative Findings From the Play Active Project
We explored childcare educators’ perceived barriers and facilitators to policy implementation in order to inform the development and implementation of an early childhood education and care (ECEC) specific physical activity policy. This study was part of the Play Active (2019-2023) project which aimed to develop, implement and evaluate evidence-based physical activity policy to improve physical activity levels in children attending ECEC.Published research Early Childhood Development Child Physical Activity, Health and Development School and Community WellbeingDecember 2021
Friendly schools’ bullying prevention research: Implications for school counsellors
Bullying varies in frequency, intensity, duration and hence severity, and contributes uniquely and directly to mental health problems, with severe and long-lasting consequences. Almost a half of school-age students report being bullied in the past year.Published research Bullying School Attendance School and Community WellbeingSeptember 2021
Strengthening student social and emotional wellbeing and preventing bullying behaviours: Insights from 20 years of Friendly Schools research in Australian schools.
Strong evidence supports our current understandings of student bullying behaviours and ways schools can prevent and respond effectively to bullying behaviour. In the late 1990’s, however, little was understood about the most effective ways to reduce bullying in Australian schools. In response to schools’ need for evidence-informed action, a pipeline of research called Friendly Schools was initiated in 1999 which for the past twenty years, has provided robust whole-school evidence-based knowledge and skills to support policy makers, school staff and other practitioners working in schools and families across Australia.Published research Bullying School Attendance Social and Emotional Wellbeing of Aboriginal Young People Youth mental health School and Community WellbeingSeptember 2021
Leading excellence through equity: Social emotional learning for a Fair Go
Australia likes to call itself the land of the "Fair Go". But what does a Fair Go mean for students from backgrounds of deep disadvantage? The UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 aim to ensure "inclusive and equitable quality education and [to promote] lifelong learning opportunities for all" (United Nations, 2015).Published research School and Community Wellbeing
Education and Qualifications