Staff profile

Professor Susan J

Professor Susan J Paxton

FAED, FAPS

Professor

College of Science, Health and Engineering

School of Psychology and Public Health

Department of Psychology and Counselling

George Singer Building, Room 461, Melbourne (Bundoora)

Qualifications

BA Hons, MPsych, PhD

Role

Academic

Membership of professional associations

Registered Psychologist Australia, Academy for Eating Disorders, Australian and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders, Australian Psychological Society, College of Clinical & Health Psychologists

Area of study

Psychology

Brief profile

Professor Paxton’s research has concentrated on understanding risk factors for the development of body image and eating disorders, and the evaluation of prevention and treatment interventions for these problems. Her major current projects explore the early development of body image and eating behaviours, body image and disordered eating in adolescents and adults, evaluation of school-based prevention interventions and stigma associated with eating disorders. 

Professor Paxton has been a member of numerous State and Federal government advisory committees and has been President of the Australian and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders (ANZAED), and President of the Academy of Eating Disorders.  She is also a Director of the Butterfly Foundation.

Professor Paxton was the recipient of the 2013 Academy for Eating Disorders Leadership Award for Research.

Research interests

Clinical and health psychology

- Community attitudes and stigma related to eating disorders

- Early development of body image and eating behaviours

- Prevention and early intervention for body image and eating problems

Teaching units

PSY3PIN Psychological Interventions

PSY5HMP Health Psychology

PSY2ACH Abnormal, Clinical and Health Psychology

 

Recent publications

McLean, S.A., Wertheim, E.H., & Paxton, S.J. (in press). Critical processing of idealised beauty images. In R. Hobbs & P. Mihailidis (Eds). International Encyclopedia of Media Literacy, Wiley-Blackwell

Buchanan, Z.E., Abu-Rayya, H.M., Kashima, E., Paxton, S.J. & Sam, D.L. (In press).  Perceived discrimination, language proficiencies, and adaptation: Comparisons between refugee and non-refugee immigrant youth in Australia. International Journal of Intercultural Relations.

McEvedy, S., Sullivan-Mort, G., McLean, S.A., Pascoe, M., & Paxton, S.J. (2017). Ineffectiveness of commercial weight loss programs for achieving modest but meaningful weight loss: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Health Psychology, 22, 1614-1627. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1359105317705983

McLean, S.A., Wertheim, E.H., Masters, J., & Paxton, S.J. (2017).  A pilot evaluation of a social media literacy intervention to reduce risk factors for eating disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 50, 847–851 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eat.22708

Le, L.K.D., Barendregt, J.J., Hay, P.J. Sawyer, S.M., Paxton, S.J., Mihalopoulos, C. (2017). The modelled cost-effectiveness of cognitive dissonance for the prevention of Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa in adolescent girls in Australia. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 50, 834–841. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eat.22703

Doley, J.R., Hart, L.M., Stukas, A.A., Petrovic, K., Bouguettaya, A., & Paxton, S.J. (2017). Interventions to reduce the stigma of eating disorders: A critical narrative synthesis and meta-analysis. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 50, 210-230. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eat.22691.

Wade, T.D., Wilksch, S.M., Paxton, S.J., Byrne, S.M., & Austin, S.B. (2017). Do universal media literacy programs have an effect on weight and shape concern by influencing media internalization? International Journal of Eating Disorders, 50, 731–738. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eat.22689

Wilksch, S.M., Paxton, S.J., Byrne, S.M., Austin, S.B., O’Shea, A., Wade, T.D. (2017). Outcomes of three universal eating disorder risk reduction programs by participants with higher and lower baseline shape and weight concern. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 50, 66–75. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eat.22642

Pallozzi, R., Wertheim, E.H., Paxton, S. J., & Ong, B. (2017). Trait mindfulness measures for use with adolescents: A systematic review. Mindfulness, 8, 110–125 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12671-016-0567-z

Dunstan, C.J., Paxton, S.J., & McLean, S.A. (2017). An evaluation of a body image intervention in adolescent girls delivered in single-sex versus co-educational classroom settings. Eating Behaviors, 25, 23-31. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2016.03.016

McLean, S.A., Paxton, S.J., & Wertheim, E.H. (2016). Dismantling prevention: Comparison of outcomes following media literacy and appearance comparison modules in a randomised controlled trial. Journal of Health Psychology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1359105316678668

McLean, S.A., Paxton, S.J., & Wertheim, E.H. (2016). The measurement of media literacy in eating disorder risk factor research: Psychometric properties of six measures. Journal of Eating Disorders, 4, 30. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40337-016-0116-0

Paxton, S.J. & Damiano, S.R. (2016). The development of body image and weight bias in childhood. In J.B. Benson (Ed.), Advances in Child Development and Behavior, ACDB, UK: Academic Press, 52, Ch 8 pp. 269-298 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/bs.acdb.2016.10.006

Hart, L.M., Damiano, S.R., & Paxton, S.J. (2016). Confident Body, Confident Child: A randomised controlled trial evaluation of a parenting resource for promoting healthy body image and eating patterns in 2- to 6-year old children.  International Journal of Eating Disorders, 49, 458–472. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eat.22494

Spiel, E., Rodgers, R.F., Paxton, S.J., Wertheim, E.H., Damiano, S.D., Gregg, K.J., & McLean, S.A. (2016). “He’s got his father’s bias”: Parental influence on weight bias in young children.  British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 34, 198–211. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjdp.12123

Griffiths, S, Hay, P.J. Mitchison, D., Mond, J.M., McLean, S.A., Bryan Rogers, B., Massey, R., & Paxton, S.J. (2016). Sex differences in the relationships between body dissatisfaction, quality of life and psychological distress. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 40, 518–522. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12538

McLean, S. A., Paxton, S. J., & Wertheim, E. H. (2016). The role of media literacy in body dissatisfaction and disordered eating: A systematic review. Body Image, 19, 9-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2016.08.002

Rodgers, R., Paxton, S. J., McLean, S. A., & Damiano, S. R. (2016). “Does the voice in your head get kinder as you get older?” Women’s perceptions of body image in midlife. Journal of Women and Aging, 28, 5, 395–402. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08952841.2015.1018034

Rodgers, R.F., McLean, S.A., Marques, M., Dunstan, C. J. & Paxton, S. J. (2016). Trajectories of body dissatisfaction and dietary restriction in early adolescent girls: A latent class growth analysis.  Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45, 1664–1677. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-015-0356-3

McLean, S.A., Paxton, S.J., & Wertheim, E.H. (2016). Does media literacy mitigate risk for reduced body satisfaction following exposure to thin-ideal media? Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45, 1678–1695. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-016-0440-3

Damiano, S.R., Hart, L.M., & Paxton, S.J. (2016). Correlates of parental feeding practices with pre-schoolers: Parental body image and eating knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors.  Appetite, 101,192-198, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2016.03.008

Schofield, M.J., O’Halloran, P., McLean, S.A., Forrester-Knauss, C., & Paxton, S.J. (2016). Depressive symptoms among Australian university students: Who is at risk? Australian Psychologist, 51, 135–144, doi:10.1111/ap.12129

McLean, S.A., Paxton, S.J., Massey, R., Mond, J.A., Hay, P.J., & Rodgers, B. (2016). Identifying persuasive public health messages to change community knowledge and attitudes about bulimia nervosa. Journal of Health Communication, 21, 178–187. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2015.1049309.

Rodgers, R.F., Wertheim, E.H., Damiano, S.D., Gregg, K.J., & Paxton, S.J. (2015). “Stop eating lollies and do lots of sports”: A prospective qualitative study of the development of children’s awareness of dietary restraint and exercise to lose weight. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12, 155 (11 pages), http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12966-015-0318-x

Rodgers, R.F., Paxton, S.J., McLean, S.A., Massey, R., Mond, J.A., Hay, P.J. & Rodgers, B. (2015). Stigmatising attitudes and beliefs towards Bulimia Nervosa: The importance of knowledge and eating disorder symptoms. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 203, 259–263. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000275

McLean, S.A., Paxton, S.J., Wertheim, E.H., & Masters, J. (2015). Photoshopping the selfie: Self photo editing and photo investment are associated with body dissatisfaction in adolescent girls.  International Journal of Eating Disorders, 48, 1132–1140.

Damiano, S.R., Paxton, S.J., Wertheim, E.H., McLean, S.A., & Gregg, K.J. (2015). Dietary restraint of 5-year old girls: Associations with internalization of the thin ideal, maternal, media and peer influences.  International Journal of Eating Disorders, 8, 1166–1169.

Schaefer, L.M., Burke, N.L., Thompson, J.K., Dedrick, R. F., Heinberg, L.J., … Paxton, S.J., & Swami, V. (2015). Development and validation of the Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire-4 (SATAQ-4). Psychological Assessment, 27, 54-67. doi: 10.1037/a0037917

Hart, L.M., Damiano, S.R., Cornell, C. & Paxton, S.J. (2015). What parents know and want to learn about healthy eating and body image in preschool children: A triangulated qualitative study with parents and Early Childhood Professionals. BMC Public Health, 15, 596 (13 pages). doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-1865-4.

Damiano, S.R., Paxton, S.J., Gregg, K., Spiel, E.C., McLean, S.A., & Wertheim, E.H. (2015). Relationships between body size attitudes and body image of 4-year-old boys and girls, and attitudes of their fathers and mothers. Journal of Eating Disorders, 3, 16 (10 pages)

Older publications

Rodgers, R.F. McLean, S.A. & Paxton, S.J. (2015). Longitudinal relationships among internalization of the media ideal, peer social comparison, and body dissatisfaction: implications for the Tripartite Influence Model. Developmental Psychology, 51, 706-713.

Damiano, S.R., Hart, L.M. & Paxton, S.J. (2015). Development and validation of parenting measures for body image and eating patterns in childhood.  Journal of Eating Disorders, 3, 5 (9 pages). doi: 10.1186/s40337-015-0043-5

Wade, T.D., Wilksch, S.M., Paxton, S.J., Byrne, S.M., & Austin, S.B. (2015). How perfectionism and ineffectiveness influence growth of eating disorder risk in young adolescent girls. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 66, 56-63.

Wilksch, S.M., Paxton, S.J., Byrne, S.M., Austin, S.B., McLean, S.A., Thompson, K.M., Dorairaj, K., & Wade, T.D. (2015). Prevention Across the Spectrum: A randomized-controlled trial of three programs to reduce risk factors for both eating disorders and obesity. Psychological Medicine, 2015, 45(9), 1811-23. doi:10.1017/S003329171400289X

Hart, L.M., Cornell, C., Damiano, S.R., & Paxton, S.J. (2015). Parents and prevention: A systematic review of interventions involving parents that aim to prevent body dissatisfaction or eating disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 48, 157–169.

Hart, L. M., Damiano, S. R., Chittleborough, P., Paxton, S.J., & Jorm, A.F. (2014). Parenting to prevent body dissatisfaction and unhealthy eating patterns in preschool children: A Delphi consensus study.  Body Image, 11, 418-425.

Rodgers, R.F., Paxton, S.J., McLean, S.A., Campbell, K.J., Wertheim, E.H., Skouteris, H., & Gibbons, K. (2014). Maternal negative affect is associated with emotional feeding practices and emotional eating in young children. Appetite, 80, 242-247.

Rodgers, R.F., & Paxton, S.J. (2014). The impact of indicated prevention and early intervention on co-morbid eating disorder and depressive symptoms: A systematic review.  Journal of Eating Disorders, 2, 30 (10 pages) doi: 10.1186/s40337-014-0030-2

McLean, S.A., Paxton, S.J., Massey, R., Mond, J.A., Rodgers, B., & Hay, P.J. (2014). Pre-notification but not envelope-teaser increased response rates in a Bulimia Nervosa Mental Health Literacy survey. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 67(8), 870-876.

Fedyszyn, I.E., Robinson, J., Harris, M.G., Paxton, S.J., Francey, S. & Edwards, J. (2014). Suicidal behaviours during treatment for first episode psychosis: towards a comprehensive approach to service-based prevention.  Early Intervention Psychiatry, 8, 387–395. doi:10.1111/eip.12084

Rodgers, R.F., Paxton, S.J., & McLean, S.A. (2014). A biopsychosocial model of body image concerns and disordered eating in early adolescent girls. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43, 814-823.

McLean, S.A., Paxton, S.J., Massey, R., Hay, P.J., Mond, J. A., & Rodgers, B. (2014).  Stigmatizing attitudes and beliefs about bulimia nervosa: Gender, age, education and income variability in a community sample.  International Journal of Eating Disorders, 47, 353-361.

Ross, A., Rodgers, R.F., & Paxton, S.J. (2013). Y’s Girl: Increasing body satisfaction among primary school girls. Body Image, 10 (4), 614-618.

Rodgers, R.F., Paxton, S.J., Massey, R., Campbell, K.J., Wertheim, E.H., Skouteris, H., & Gibbons, K. (2013). Maternal feeding practices predict weight gain and obesogenic eating behaviors in young children: a prospective study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10, 24. (10 pages)

Paxton, S. J. (2013). Dissemination in the internet age: Taming a wild thing. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 46, 525-528.

Rodgers, R.F., Paxton, S.J., McLean, S.A., Campbell, K.J., Wertheim, E.H., Skouteris, H., & Gibbons, K. (2013). Do maternal body dissatisfaction and dietary restraint predict weight gain in young pre-school children? A one-year follow-up study. Appetite, 67, 30-36.

McLean, S. A., Paxton, S. J., & Wertheim, E. H. (2013). Mediators of the relationship between media literacy and body dissatisfaction in early adolescent girls: Implications for prevention. Body Image, 10, 282-289.

Courtney, J.A., Francis, A.J.P., & Paxton, S.J. (2013). Caring for the country: Fatigue, sleep and mental health in Australian paramedic shiftworkers. Journal of Community Health, 38, 178-186.

Fedyszyn, I.E., Robinson, J., Harris, M.G., Paxton, S.J., & Francey, S. (2012). Predictors of suicide-related behaviors during treatment following a first episode of psychosis: The contribution of baseline, past, and recent factors.  Schizophrenia Research, 140, 17-24. 

Fedyszyn, I. E., Harris, M. G., Robinson, J., & Paxton, S. J. (2012). Classification algorithm for the determination of suicide attempt and suicide (CAD-SAS): Development and psychometric properties. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 33, 3, 151-161.

Hart, L. M, Jorm, A. F., & Paxton, S. J. (2012). Mental health first aid for eating disorder: pilot evaluation of a training program for the public. BMC Psychiatry, 12:98

Hart, L. M, Jorm, A. F., Paxton, S. J., Cvetkovski, S.  (2012). Mental health first aid guidelines: an evaluation of impact following download from the world wide web. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 6, 399-406.

Spiel, E. C., Paxton, S. J. Yager, Z. (2012). Weight attitudes in 3- to 5-year-old children: Age differences and cross sectional predictors.  Body Image, 9, 524-527

Hay, P.J., Buetner, P., Mond, J., Paxton, S.J., Quirk, F., Rodgers, B. (2012). A community-based study of enduring eating features in young women. Nutrients, 4(5), 413-4

Fedyszyn, I. E., Harris, M.G., Robinson, J., Edwards, J., & Paxton, S.J. (2011). Characteristics of suicide attempts in young people undergoing treatment for first-episode psychosis. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 45(10), 838-45.

Brown, A. P., Lubman, D. I., & Paxton, S. J. (2011). Psychosocial risk factors for inconsistent condom use in young people with first episode psychosis. Community Mental Health Journal, 47, 679-687.

Forsyth, C., Skouteris, H., Wertheim, E.H., Paxton, S.J., & Milgrom, J. (2011). Men's emotional responses to their partner's pregnancy and their views on support and information received. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 51(1), 53-6.

McLean, S.A., Paxton, S.J., & Wertheim, E.H. (2011). A body image and disordered eating intervention for midlife women: A randomised controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 79(6), 751-758. doi: 10.1037/a0026094

Rodgers, R., Chabrol, H., & Paxton, S.J.  (2011). An exploration of the Tripartite Influence model of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating among Australian and French college women.  Body Image, 8 (3), 208-215.

Hart, L. M., Granillo, M.T., Jorm, A.F. & Paxton, S.J. (2011). Unmet need for treatment in the eating disorders: A systematic review of eating disorder specific treatment seeking among community cases.  Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 727-735.

Gregory, J.E., Paxton, S.J., & Brozovic, A.M. (2011). Maternal feeding practices predict fruit and vegetable consumption in young children: Results of a 12-month longitudinal study. Appetite, 57, 167-172.

Brown, A.P., Lubman, D.I. & Paxton, S.J. (2011). Reducing sexually-transmitted infection risk in young people with first-episode psychosis.  International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 20, 12-20.

Evans, E.J., Hay, P.J, Mond, J., Paxton, S.J. Quirk, F., Rodgers, B., Jhajj, A.K., & Sawoniewska, M.A. (2011). Barriers to help-seeking in young women with eating disorders: A qualitative exploration in a longitudinal community survey.  Eating Disorders, 19, 270-285.

Research projects

“Enhancing social media literacy to decrease body dissatisfaction: A randomised controlled trial” Australian Rotary Health – Mental Health of Young Australians (Siân McLean, Rachel Rodgers, Susan Paxton), 2017, $70,000

“Does social media literacy mitigate impacts of social media in adolescents?” Australian Research Council (Susan Paxton, Rachel Rodgers, Amy Slater), 2017-2019, $273,000

“Reducing body dissatisfaction and internalised weight stigma in young women with obesity. The everyBODY study.” Australian Rotary Health (O'Connor, Rieger, Paxton, Baur, Steinbeck et al.), 2017, $74,000

“Prospective predictors of body image attitudes and dieting beliefs during the first years of school: Providing guidance for prevention.” Australian Research Council (Susan Paxton & Eleanor Wertheim), 2014-16, $360,000.

“Improving girls’ body satisfaction and well-being through social media literacy”. La Trobe University, Building Health Communities Grant Scheme (Susan Paxton & Eleanor Wertheim), 2014, $28,406.

“Promoting healthy body image and eating behaviours in young children: Helping parents create positive environments”, The CAGES Foundation (Susan Paxton), 2012-14, $505,000.

“The development of body image attitudes in three, four and five year old girls and boys: a prospective study of psychosocial predictor variables” Australian Research Council (Susan Paxton & Eleanor Wertheim), 2011-13, $258,373.

“Parenting to prevent eating disorders and body image dissatisfaction in young children: A Delphi guidelines study”, (Laura Hart and Susan Paxton, La Trobe University FSTE Early Career Award), 2012, $15,000.

“Prevention across the spectrum: can we simultaneously reduce the risk of eating disorders and obesity” Butterfly Research Institute (Simon Wilksch, Tracey Wade, Susan Paxton, S Bryn Austin & Sue Byrne), 2011-12, $200,000.

“Paving the way for effective public health interventions for bulimic disorders: Understanding stigma and mental health literacy”. Australian Research Council (Susan Paxton, Jonathon Mond, Phillipa Hay, Bryan Rodgers), 2012-12, $214,000.