Dr Emma Barrett

Senior Research Fellow &
Psychologist
Program Lead in Trauma and Crime Research
The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use
Sydney Medical School
Faculty of Medicine and Health


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Biographical details

Dr Emma Barrett is a Senior Research Fellow and Forensic Psychologist at the Matilda Centre for Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use, University of Sydney. Dr Barrett is also the Program Lead in Trauma and Crime Research at the Centre and is currently supported by a competitive NSW Health Fellowship. She has authored 37 publications since 2011 and has received over $12.5 million in competitive research funding for 17 pioneering research projects. In recognition of the innovation and impact of her research, Dr Barrett has accrued a number of awards including the 2017 NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Award from the Australian Institute of Policy and Science. In 2016 she was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship and spent a year in the US collaborating with international researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina to lead the development of an integrated treatment for adolescents with co-occurring PTSD and substance use.

Research interests

Research Interests

  • Psychological consequences of trauma across the lifespan
  • Development and evaluation of interventions for trauma related comorbidity (e.g., PTSD and substance use)
  • Trauma informed care
  • Substance use prevention
  • Understanding links between mental health, substance use and crime
  • Treatment of mental health and substance use disorders in forensic settings

Methodological Expertise

  • Randomised controlled trials
  • Intervention development
  • Cohort studies
  • Analysis of epidemiological studies

Current research students

Project title Research student
Development and pilot evaluation of a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy based substance abuse treatment programme in a High Secure Forensic Hospital. Daniel MCFADDEN

Awards and honours

2017: Advances in Dual Diagnosis Outstanding Paper award (‘Psychosocial factors associated with adolescent substance use: A longitudinal investigation’)

2017: NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Award (Australian Institute of Policy & Science)

2017: NSW Health Early-Mid Career Fellowship

2017: The UNSW Apte Scholarship

2016: The Australian-American Commission Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship

2015: University of New South Wales Dean’s Rising Star Award

2015: TheMHS Early Career Research Award for Research Excellence (Highly Commended)

2014: College on Problems of Drug Dependence Early Career Investigator Travel Award

2013: NHMRC CRE in Mental Health and Substance Use Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

2013: Ian Potter Foundation International Travel Grant for Early Career Researchers

2010: University of NSW Deans List for Excellence in Research

2010: Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ASTSS) Research Award

2010: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre Annual Symposium Poster Prize

2009: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre International Travel Award

2008: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre PhD Scholarship

2007: Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ASTSS) Conference Poster Prize

Selected grants

2019

  • Preventing adolescent mental illness and substance use through teacher-delivered interventions targeting personality risk factors Short title: Targeting personality risk factors to prevent adolescent mental illness; Kelly E, Newton N, Birrell L, Stapinski L, Barrett E, Teesson M; Australian Rotary Health/Mental Health of Young Australians Research Grant.
  • Adapting the Substance Use Treatment Program (SUTP) for the NSW forensic setting; Barrett E, Prior K, Teesson M; Mental Health Commission NSW/Research Grant.

2018

  • Randomised controlled trial of an integrated cognitive-behavioural therapy for the treatment of co-occurring post traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorder in adolescents´┐Ż; Mills K, Teesson M, Back S, Barrett E, Cobham V, Bendall S, Perrin S, Brady K, Ross J; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Project Grants.

2017

  • Enhancing comorbidity competency in mental health and substance use treatment services; Barrett E; NSW Health/Early Mid Career Fellowship.
  • Pathways to prevention: The effectiveness of universal and selective prevention in altering developmental pathways to alcohol and cannabis related harms in young adults; Newton N, Teesson M, Stapinski L, Slade T, Conrod P, Barrett E, Chapman C, Champion K; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Project Grants.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Newton, N., Stapinski, L., Slade, T., Champion, K., Barrett, E., Chapman, C., Smout, A., Lawler, S., Mather, M., Castellanos-Ryan, N., et al (2018). Pathways to prevention: Protocol for the CAP (Climate and Preventure) study to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of school-based universal, selective and combined alcohol misuse prevention into early adulthood. BMC Public Health, 18(1), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Newton, N., Teesson, M., Mather, M., Champion, K., Barrett, E., Stapinski, L., Carragher, N., Kelly, E., Conrod, P., Slade, T. (2018). Universal cannabis outcomes from the Climate and Preventure (CAP) study: A cluster randomised controlled trial. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 13(1). [More Information]
  • Teesson, M., Newton, N., Slade, T., Carragher, N., Barrett, E., Champion, K., Kelly, E., Nair, N., Stapinski, L., Conrod, P. (2017). Combined universal and selective prevention for adolescent alcohol use: a cluster randomized controlled trial. Psychological Medicine, 47(10), 1761-1770. [More Information]
  • Champion, K., Barrett, E., Slade, T., Teesson, M., Newton, N. (2017). Psychosocial factors associated with adolescent substance use: a longitudinal investigation. Advances in Dual Diagnosis, 10(4), 142-154. [More Information]
  • Champion, K., Newton, N., Stapinski, L., Slade, T., Barrett, E., Teesson, M. (2016). A cross-validation trial of an Internet-based prevention program for alcohol and cannabis: Preliminary results from a cluster randomised controlled trial. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 50(1), 64-73. [More Information]
  • Newton, N., Conrod, P., Slade, T., Carragher, N., Champion, K., Barrett, E., Kelly, E., Nair, N., Stapinski, L., Teesson, M. (2016). The long-term effectiveness of a selective, personality-targeted prevention program in reducing alcohol use and related harms: a cluster randomized controlled trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57(9), 1056-1065. [More Information]
  • Carragher, N., Teesson, M., Sunderland, M., Newton, N., Krueger, R., Conrod, P., Barrett, E., Champion, K., Nair, N., Slade, T. (2016). The structure of adolescent psychopathology: A symptom-level analysis. Psychological Medicine, 46(5), 981-994. [More Information]
  • Newton, N., Barrett, E., Castellanos-Ryan, N., Kelly, E., Champion, K., Stapinski, L., Conrod, P., Slade, T., Nair, N., Teesson, M. (2016). The validity of the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale (SURPS) among Australian adolescents. Addictive Behaviors, 53, 23-30. [More Information]
  • Barrett, E., Newton, N., Teesson, M., Slade, T., Conrod, P. (2015). Adapting the personality-targeted Preventure program to prevent substance use and associated harms among high-risk Australian adolescents. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 9(4), 308-315. [More Information]
  • Kelly, E., Newton, N., Stapinski, L., Slade, T., Barrett, E., Conrod, P., Teesson, M. (2015). Concurrent and prospective associations between bullying victimization and substance use among Australian adolescents. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 154, 63-68. [More Information]
  • Sutherland, R., Sindicich, N., Barrett, E., Whittaker, E., Peacock, A., Hickey, S., Burns, L. (2015). Motivations, substance use and other correlates amongst property and violent offenders who regularly inject drugs. Addictive Behaviors, 45, 207-213. [More Information]
  • Forbes, M., Flanagan, J., Barrett, E., Crome, E., Baillie, A., Mills, K., Teesson, M. (2015). Smoking, posttraumatic stress disorder, and alcohol use disorders in a nationally representative sample of Australian men and women. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 156, 176-183. [More Information]
  • Kelly, E., Newton, N., Stapinski, L., Slade, T., Barrett, E., Conrod, P., Teesson, M. (2015). Suicidality, internalizing problems and externalizing problems among adolescent bullies, victims and bully-victims. Preventive Medicine, 73, 100-105. [More Information]
  • Kay-Lambkin, F., Baker, A., Geddes, J., Hunt, S., Woodcock, K., Teesson, M., Oldmeadow, C., Lewin, T., Bewick, B., Brady, K., et al (2015). The iTreAD project: A study protocol for a randomised controlled clinical trial of online treatment and social networking for binge drinking and depression in young people Health behavior, health promotion and society. BMC Public Health, 15(1). [More Information]
  • Barrett, E., Indig, D., Sunjic, S., Sannibale, C., Sindicich, N., Rosenfeld, J., Najavits, L., Mills, K. (2015). Treating Comorbid Substance Use and Traumatic Stress among Male Prisoners: A Pilot Study of the Acceptability, Feasibility, and Preliminary Efficacy of Seeking Safety. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 14(1), 45-55. [More Information]
  • Barrett, E., Teesson, M., Mills, K. (2014). Associations between substance use, post-traumatic stress disorder and the perpetration of violence: A longitudinal investigation. Addictive Behaviors, 39(6), 1075-1080. [More Information]
  • Sindicich, N., Mills, K., Barrett, E., Indig, D., Sunjic, S., Sannibale, C., Rosenfeld, J., Najavits, L. (2014). Offenders as victims: post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorder among male prisoners. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 25(1), 44-60. [More Information]
  • Newton, N., Barrett, E., Swaffield, L., Teesson, M. (2014). Risky cognitions associated with adolescent alcohol misuse: Moral disengagement, alcohol expectancies and perceived self-regulatory efficacy. Addictive Behaviors, 39(1), 165-172. [More Information]
  • Champion, K., Newton, N., Barrett, E., Teesson, M. (2013). A systematic review of school-based alcohol and other drug prevention programs facilitated by computers or the Internet. Drug and Alcohol Review, 32(2), 115-123. [More Information]
  • Barrett, E., Mills, K., Teesson, M., Ewer, P. (2013). Mental health correlates of anger and violence among individuals entering substance use treatment. Mental Health and Substance Use, 6(4), 287-302. [More Information]
  • Barrett, E., Mills, K., Teesson, M. (2013). Mental health correlates of anger in the general population: Findings from the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 47(5), 470-476. [More Information]
  • Teesson, M., Newton, N., Barrett, E. (2012). Australian school-based prevention programs for alcohol and other drugs: A systematic review. Drug and Alcohol Review, 31(6), 731-736. [More Information]
  • Mills, K., Teesson, M., Back, S., Brady, K., Baker, A., Hopwood, S., Sannibale, C., Barrett, E., Merz, S., Rosenfeld, J., et al (2012). Integrated exposure-based therapy for co-occurring posttraumatic stress disorder and substance dependence: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association, 308(7), 690-699. [More Information]
  • Newton, N., Teesson, M., Barrett, E., Slade, T., Conrod, P. (2012). The CAP study, evaluation of integrated universal and selective prevention strategies for youth alcohol misuse: Study protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial. BMC Psychiatry, 12. [More Information]

2018

  • Newton, N., Stapinski, L., Slade, T., Champion, K., Barrett, E., Chapman, C., Smout, A., Lawler, S., Mather, M., Castellanos-Ryan, N., et al (2018). Pathways to prevention: Protocol for the CAP (Climate and Preventure) study to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of school-based universal, selective and combined alcohol misuse prevention into early adulthood. BMC Public Health, 18(1), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Newton, N., Teesson, M., Mather, M., Champion, K., Barrett, E., Stapinski, L., Carragher, N., Kelly, E., Conrod, P., Slade, T. (2018). Universal cannabis outcomes from the Climate and Preventure (CAP) study: A cluster randomised controlled trial. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 13(1). [More Information]

2017

  • Teesson, M., Newton, N., Slade, T., Carragher, N., Barrett, E., Champion, K., Kelly, E., Nair, N., Stapinski, L., Conrod, P. (2017). Combined universal and selective prevention for adolescent alcohol use: a cluster randomized controlled trial. Psychological Medicine, 47(10), 1761-1770. [More Information]
  • Champion, K., Barrett, E., Slade, T., Teesson, M., Newton, N. (2017). Psychosocial factors associated with adolescent substance use: a longitudinal investigation. Advances in Dual Diagnosis, 10(4), 142-154. [More Information]

2016

  • Champion, K., Newton, N., Stapinski, L., Slade, T., Barrett, E., Teesson, M. (2016). A cross-validation trial of an Internet-based prevention program for alcohol and cannabis: Preliminary results from a cluster randomised controlled trial. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 50(1), 64-73. [More Information]
  • Newton, N., Conrod, P., Slade, T., Carragher, N., Champion, K., Barrett, E., Kelly, E., Nair, N., Stapinski, L., Teesson, M. (2016). The long-term effectiveness of a selective, personality-targeted prevention program in reducing alcohol use and related harms: a cluster randomized controlled trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57(9), 1056-1065. [More Information]
  • Carragher, N., Teesson, M., Sunderland, M., Newton, N., Krueger, R., Conrod, P., Barrett, E., Champion, K., Nair, N., Slade, T. (2016). The structure of adolescent psychopathology: A symptom-level analysis. Psychological Medicine, 46(5), 981-994. [More Information]
  • Newton, N., Barrett, E., Castellanos-Ryan, N., Kelly, E., Champion, K., Stapinski, L., Conrod, P., Slade, T., Nair, N., Teesson, M. (2016). The validity of the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale (SURPS) among Australian adolescents. Addictive Behaviors, 53, 23-30. [More Information]

2015

  • Barrett, E., Newton, N., Teesson, M., Slade, T., Conrod, P. (2015). Adapting the personality-targeted Preventure program to prevent substance use and associated harms among high-risk Australian adolescents. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 9(4), 308-315. [More Information]
  • Kelly, E., Newton, N., Stapinski, L., Slade, T., Barrett, E., Conrod, P., Teesson, M. (2015). Concurrent and prospective associations between bullying victimization and substance use among Australian adolescents. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 154, 63-68. [More Information]
  • Sutherland, R., Sindicich, N., Barrett, E., Whittaker, E., Peacock, A., Hickey, S., Burns, L. (2015). Motivations, substance use and other correlates amongst property and violent offenders who regularly inject drugs. Addictive Behaviors, 45, 207-213. [More Information]
  • Forbes, M., Flanagan, J., Barrett, E., Crome, E., Baillie, A., Mills, K., Teesson, M. (2015). Smoking, posttraumatic stress disorder, and alcohol use disorders in a nationally representative sample of Australian men and women. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 156, 176-183. [More Information]
  • Kelly, E., Newton, N., Stapinski, L., Slade, T., Barrett, E., Conrod, P., Teesson, M. (2015). Suicidality, internalizing problems and externalizing problems among adolescent bullies, victims and bully-victims. Preventive Medicine, 73, 100-105. [More Information]
  • Kay-Lambkin, F., Baker, A., Geddes, J., Hunt, S., Woodcock, K., Teesson, M., Oldmeadow, C., Lewin, T., Bewick, B., Brady, K., et al (2015). The iTreAD project: A study protocol for a randomised controlled clinical trial of online treatment and social networking for binge drinking and depression in young people Health behavior, health promotion and society. BMC Public Health, 15(1). [More Information]
  • Barrett, E., Indig, D., Sunjic, S., Sannibale, C., Sindicich, N., Rosenfeld, J., Najavits, L., Mills, K. (2015). Treating Comorbid Substance Use and Traumatic Stress among Male Prisoners: A Pilot Study of the Acceptability, Feasibility, and Preliminary Efficacy of Seeking Safety. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 14(1), 45-55. [More Information]

2014

  • Barrett, E., Teesson, M., Mills, K. (2014). Associations between substance use, post-traumatic stress disorder and the perpetration of violence: A longitudinal investigation. Addictive Behaviors, 39(6), 1075-1080. [More Information]
  • Sindicich, N., Mills, K., Barrett, E., Indig, D., Sunjic, S., Sannibale, C., Rosenfeld, J., Najavits, L. (2014). Offenders as victims: post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorder among male prisoners. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 25(1), 44-60. [More Information]
  • Newton, N., Barrett, E., Swaffield, L., Teesson, M. (2014). Risky cognitions associated with adolescent alcohol misuse: Moral disengagement, alcohol expectancies and perceived self-regulatory efficacy. Addictive Behaviors, 39(1), 165-172. [More Information]

2013

  • Champion, K., Newton, N., Barrett, E., Teesson, M. (2013). A systematic review of school-based alcohol and other drug prevention programs facilitated by computers or the Internet. Drug and Alcohol Review, 32(2), 115-123. [More Information]
  • Barrett, E., Mills, K., Teesson, M., Ewer, P. (2013). Mental health correlates of anger and violence among individuals entering substance use treatment. Mental Health and Substance Use, 6(4), 287-302. [More Information]
  • Barrett, E., Mills, K., Teesson, M. (2013). Mental health correlates of anger in the general population: Findings from the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 47(5), 470-476. [More Information]

2012

  • Teesson, M., Newton, N., Barrett, E. (2012). Australian school-based prevention programs for alcohol and other drugs: A systematic review. Drug and Alcohol Review, 31(6), 731-736. [More Information]
  • Mills, K., Teesson, M., Back, S., Brady, K., Baker, A., Hopwood, S., Sannibale, C., Barrett, E., Merz, S., Rosenfeld, J., et al (2012). Integrated exposure-based therapy for co-occurring posttraumatic stress disorder and substance dependence: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association, 308(7), 690-699. [More Information]
  • Newton, N., Teesson, M., Barrett, E., Slade, T., Conrod, P. (2012). The CAP study, evaluation of integrated universal and selective prevention strategies for youth alcohol misuse: Study protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial. BMC Psychiatry, 12. [More Information]

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