Team members

The ABC-4-Y research team

Dr Stephanie Damiano

Steph-photo.JPGDr Stephanie Damiano is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the EMBodIED Research team who is leading the Achieving Body Confidence for Young Children (ABC-4-YC ) study. She completed her PhD in the area of psychology, which built upon the current theories of the development and maintenance of anorexia by evaluating the characteristics of adolescent females with anorexia beyond diagnostic criteria. In 2015, Dr Damiano was awarded a Post-doctoral Fellowship by the Building Healthy Communities Research Focus Area at La Trobe University to evaluate the ABC-4-YC program.

Dr Damiano’s research focuses on the prevention and treatment of body dissatisfaction and clinical eating disorders in youth populations, with the aim to explore new methods for minimising the negative impact of eating disorders on the mental, physical, and social well-being of young people. Dr Damiano has professional membership to the Australia and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders and the international Academy for Eating Disorders, has published numerous papers in the area, and also collaborates on the Confident Body, Confident Child Study and the Child Body Image Development Study.

Professor Susan Paxton

Professor Susan Paxton is the Director of the EMBodIED Research team in the School of Psychology and Public Health a La Trobe University. 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. Professor Paxton is past President of the Australian and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders, and past President of the Academy of Eating Disorders. She is also a Director of the Butterfly Foundation and co-chair of the Prevention and Early Intervention Steering Committee of the National Eating Disorders Collaboration. Professor Paxton has been a member of the National Ministerial Body Image Advisory Group, a member of the Victorian State Ministerial Advisory Committee on Body Image and Ministerial Advisory Committee for Eating Disorders.

Dr Siân McLean

Dr Siân McLean is a Research Fellow in the EMBodIED Research team at La Trobe University. She recently completed her PhD which looked at how media literacy skills, that is, critical thinking about media, may play a role in preventing body dissatisfaction in teenage girls.

Dr McLean’s current research will extend the findings of her PhD and focus on the impact of social media on the body image of teens and young adults. This next phase of research which will involve working with colleagues in Australia, Britain and the US, will seek to understand the patterns of social media use that lead to poor outcomes for mental health of young people and how this knowledge can be used to prevent mental health problems.