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ARC success for Professor Ron Rapee

Distinguished Professor Ron Rapee

Distinguished Professor Ron Rapee has today been awarded an ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship - one of only 15 awarded nationally. This award reflects Professor Rapee's outstanding contribution to research.

As Director of the Macquarie Centre for Emotional Health and a member of the Psychology Department, Professor Rapee is recognised for his influences on the theoretical understanding of anxiety and depression and the translation of theory into practice. His work has benefited public health worldwide through his prolific contribution to the international research literature and the ongoing legacy of young researchers trained under his supervision who continue to pursue excellent standards of research in the field.

Professor Rapee's Laureate program is 'Development of emotional functioning during adolescence'. This fellowship project aims to understand factors that increase risk and provide protection from the development of emotional distress during the adolescent years. Adolescence is a critical stage in the development of emotional functioning, and behaviours developed at this time can influence the entire life course. The research plans to follow a large group of teenagers over many years and will focus on risk and protective factors that are open to possible modification. The intended outcomes seek to support the development of prevention and promotion programs and public health initiatives to maximise positive emotional development in young people. It is hoped that these will lead to increased productivity and better quality of life.

"One in five Australians suffer from mental disorders and most of these begin during the adolescent years. Understanding more about what makes some adolescents thrive while others experience difficulties will help to improve the mental health of all Australians," said Professor Rapee.

The Centre for Emotional Health was established in 2006 and has grown to one of the world's leading research centres studying the development and management of emotional difficulties.

Professor Rapee is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and in 2012 was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his contributions to clinical psychology.