Head of School & Community Wellbeing, Senior Research Fellow
BSc (Hons) BEd MA PhD
Dr Runions (PhD, Human Development & Education, UToronto) studies children’s social and emotional wellbeing, the things that happen in children’s social lives that impact on wellbeing like bullying and how schools can work better to improve children’s lives, for example by prevention efforts focusing on social-emotional learning. He has been project director on two large school trials of the Friendly School program, and is internationally recognised for his work on motives for bullying and moral processing in aggression.
He has led research examining how the online medium affects cyberbullying, on the school social experiences of children with chronic health conditions, and developing methods to improve school staff mental health literacy. He has published over 50 peer reviewed articles including a seminal meta-analysis of bullying and cyberbullying prevalence. He is also a research coordinator with WA Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services and has led work on biopsychosocial processes, borderline personality disorder and deliberate self-harm.
His research with Telethon Kids Institute and with the Australian Life Course Centre aims to understand how schools and families can work together to better help students from disadvantaged backgrounds and neurodiverse children and adolescents to improve outcomes overall and to reduce inequities in developmental and occupational life outcomes.