Karitane’s dedicated research team partners with universities and other organisations to improve clinical practice and outcomes for children and families.  

1. Clinical Research:

Karitane undertakes and disseminates research to inform the evidence-base of our clinical service delivery and to ensure families receive the best interventions, advice and support available. Karitane research department is led by Dr Jane Kohlhoff, Senior Lecturer in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health, School of psychiatry at the University of New South Wales. Karitane has welcomed a number of higher degree research students including 4 PhD students, 2 Masters students and 1 honours student. The team has experienced significant successes this year with 8 publications in peer reviewed journals, 6 international and national conference presentations, and collaboration of research grants in excess of one million dollars.

Over $1 million in research grants

8 Publications in peer-reviewed journals

6 International & national conference presentations

Research Partnerships

Karitane has partnered on a number of major research initiatives in 2017-2018 including: (i) The “Early Life Determinants of Health (ELDOH)" Clinical Academic Group within the Sydney Partnership for Health Education (SPHERE); (ii) The newly established BestSTART-SW (System Transformation and Research Translation) - South West Sydney Academic Unit for Child Health research. Karitane continues to be a member of the SWS Research Hub, with Karitane CEO Grainne O’Loughlin sitting as a member of the South West Sydney Research Executive Committee. The Hub has been incredibly supportive of Karitane’s research growth and collaboration across the district. Karitane partners with a number of health, community and university-based organisation to conduct specific translational research projects including projects focused on refugee health, home visiting for CALD families, postnatal depression and Infant Directed Speech, and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). Partners include:

• South Western Sydney Local Health District,

• Mid-North Coast Local Health District,

• Western NSW Local Health District,

• Western Sydney University,

• University of Sydney,

• MARCS Institute, and

• West Virginia University.


Successful Research Grants

• V Eapen, R Lingam, J Whitehall, S Raman, L Kemp, A George, A Page, B Jalaludi, S Teng-Liaw, S Woolfenden, J Kohlhoff, E De Leeuw, J Baker. System Transformation and Research Translation – South Western Sydney (BestSTART-SW). South Western Sydney Local Health District Academic Unit. Enhancement of an Academic Unit (2018-2022).

• C Lam-Cassetari, J Kohlhoff. The impact of postnatal depression on Infant Directed speech and early language outcomes. The MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development Research Partner Incentive Program (2018).

• J Kohlhoff. Internet Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. NSW Department of Health Mental Health Innovation Fund grant (2017-2018).

• L Kemp, C Kaplun, J Kohlhoff, V Blight. K Varelis, S Eagar. Sustained Health Home Visiting for Families with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds with low English Proficiency (LEP): determining the efficacy of program delivery using interpreters or in-language community support. South West Sydney Research Small Grant Scheme (2017-2018).

• J Baker, J Kohlhoff, V Eapen, A George, A Arora, A Al- Shammari. Starting School Well: Optimising Refugee Children’s Health in Preparation of this Key Transition. South West Sydney Research Small Grant Scheme (2017-2018).


Current research projects

A Randomised Controlled Trial comparing PCIT-T, COS-P and Waitlist controls in the treatment of disruptive behaviours in children aged 14-24 months

Investigators: J Kohlhoff, S McNeil, C McMahon, S Morgan, A Huber, V Eapen

The effect of postnatal depression on infant-directed speech and early parent-child communication

Investigators: C Lam-Cassetarri, J Kohlhoff

Evaluation of PCIT-T: an attachment-based intervention for toddlers with disruptive behaviours

Investigators: J Kohlhoff, S Morgan

Neurobiology of Parenting and Disruptive Behaviour Disorders in childhood

Investigators: J Kohlhoff, D Hawes, V Eapen

The ‘Watch Me Grow’ App for identification of developmental and mental health problems in early childhood: a validation study

Investigators: J Kohlhoff, V Eapen

Development of Karitane Family Outcomes Tool (KFOT)

Investigators: J Kohlhoff, S Lee, P Jones

Retrospective chart review of the effectiveness of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for toddlers with developmental concerns

Investigators: P McInnis, J Kohlhoff, V Eapen

Treating perinatal and infant mental health: a service evaluation

Investigators: M Stuchbury, J Kohlhoff, A Jehne

A Qualitative Inquiry into how to Optimise Refugee Children’s Developmental Health and Wellbeing in Preparation of the Key Transitions into Primary and Secondary School

Investigators: J Baker, J Kohlhoff, V Eapen, A George, A Arora, A Al-Shammari

Volunteer Family Connect

Investigators: L Kemp, R Grace


Higher Degree Research Student Projects

S Cibralic, UNSW PhD candidate

Project title: “The impact of PCIT-T on parental emotion regulation, reflective functioning, and understanding of the role of emotions in parenting and toddler behaviour."

Supervisors: Dr Jane Kohlhoff, Prof V Eapen, A/Prof C McMahon


M Kenny, UNSW PhD candidate

Project title: Evaluating the effectiveness of a trauma informed parenting intervention for Indigenous parents’ mental health and attachment quality

Supervisors: Dr Jane Kohlhoff, Prof V Eapen, Dr Beth Mah, A/Prof Kym Rae


M Simpson, WSU PhD candidate

Project title: Understanding the development of post-traumatic stress disorder following childbirth and its impact on women who access residential and day parenting services in NSW

Supervisors: Professor Hannah Dahlen (WSU), Virginia Schmied (WSU), Cathy Dickson (WSU)


B Le (UNSW Honours Candidate)

Project title: Emotional Deficits in Children with and without Callous-Unemotional Traits

Supervisor: E R Kimonis (UNSW)


B Neo (UNSW Masters Candidate)

Project title: Validation of the Clinical Assessment of Prosocial Emotions (CAPE) in Preschoolers with Disruptive Behaviour

Supervisors/ Co-investigators: Associate Professor Eva Kimonis (UNSW), Associate Professor David Hawes (USyd), Professor Valsamma Eapen (UNSW)


N Cameron (UNSW Masters Candidate)

Research Title: Do Callous-Unemotional Traits Moderate Conduct Problem Outcomes in a Community Early Childhood Setting Delivering Parent-Child Interaction Therapy?

Supervisors/ Co-investigators: E R Kimonis (UNSW), S Morgan (Karitane)


K Stirling (nee McGregor; USyd PhD Candidate)

Research Title: The early development of empathy in young children with Callous-Unemotional

traits and/or an Autism Spectrum Disorder

Supervisors: Kimberley Stirling (nee McGregor; USyd), Associate Professor David Hawes (USyd), Associate Professor Eva Kimonis (UNSW), Professor Valsamma Eapen (UNSW)


2. Research Output:

July 2017-June 2018


• Girard, E., Wallace, N., Kohlhoff, J., Morgan, S., & McNeil, S. (In Press). Parent-Child Interaction Therapy with Toddlers: Improving Attachment and Emotion Regulation,Springer.


Book chapter

• Kohlhoff, J., Morgan, S. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for Toddlers (PCIT-T) (In press). In Niec, L. (Ed). Handbook of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy – Innovations and Applications for Research and Practice, Springer.


Peer review Journal Articles

1. Brunton, R J, Dryer, R, Krägeloh, C, Saliba, A, Kohlhoff, J, Medvedev, O (In Press). The initial development of the Pregnancy-related Anxiety Scale Journal: Women and Birth, S1871-5192 (18) 300002-7.

2. Brunton, R J, Dryer, R, Kohlhoff, J, Saliba, A (In Press). Re-examining Pregnancy-related Anxiety: a replication study. Women and Birth, pii: S1871-5192(18)30076-3.

3. Brunton, R J, Dryer, R, Krägeloh, C, Saliba, A, Kohlhoff, J, Medvedev, O The Pregnancy-related Anxiety Scale: a validity examination using Rasch analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 15, 236: 127-135.

4. Priddis, H S, Keedle, H, Dahlen, H (2018). The Perfect Storm of Trauma: The experiences of women who have experienced birth trauma and subsequently accessed residential parenting services in Australia. Women and Birth, 31, 17-24.

5. Akpojene Ogbo, F, Eastwood, J, Page, A, Arora, A, McKenzie, A Jalaludin, B, Tennant, E, Miller, E, Kohlhoff, J, Chaves, K, Jones, J M, Smoleniec, J, Chay, P, Smith, B, Oei, J, Short, K, Costantino, K, Collie, L, Kemp, L., Raman, S, Woolfenden, S, Clark, T, Blight, V, Eapen, V (2017). Prevalence and determinants of cessation of exclusive breastfeeding in the early postnatal period in Sydney, Australia. International Breastfeeding Journal, 12 (16).

6. McMahon, C, Huber, A, Kohlhoff, J, Camberis, A L (2017). Does training in the Circle of Security framework increase relational understanding and capacities in infant/ child and family workers? Infant Mental Health Journal, 38 (5), 658–668.

7. Johnson, A, Hawes, D J, Eisenberg, N, Kohlhoff, J, Dudeney, J (2017). Examining the Association between Emotion Socialization and Childhood Conduct Problems: A Meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 54, 65-80.

8. Kohlhoff, J, Eapen, V, Dadds, M, Khan, F, Silove, M, Barnett, B (2017). Oxytocin in the postnatal period: Investigating links with adult attachment and maternal caregiving. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 76, 56-68.


Conference Presentations

1. Kohlhoff, J, & Morgan, S Behavioural and attachment outcomes associated with Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for Toddlers (PCIT-T). Presentation at the 2018 PCIT World Congress, Germany, June 2018.

2. Girard, E, Wallace, N, Kohlhoff, J, Morgan, S, McNeil, C. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for Toddlers. Workshop at the 2018 PCIT World Congress, Germany, June 2018.

3. Kohlhoff, J. Early Intervention for children with disruptive behaviours: results of a waitlist-controlled trial of Parent- Child Interaction Therapy for Toddlers. Presentation at the Ingham Institute weekly research seminar, May 2018.

4. Kohlhoff, J, Dadich, A, Varghese, J, McKenzie, A, Tam, M, Pritchard, M, Williams, K, Liaw, S, Murphy, E, Jalaludin, B, Woolfenden, S, Ong, N, Eastwood, J, Schmied, V, Garg, P, Eapen, V. The ‘Watch Me Grow’ App for developmental surveillance in early childhood: a qualitative study. Presentation at the 2018 Health Beyond Research & Innovation Showcase, Sydney Australia, June 2018.

5. Kohlhoff, J, Morgan, S, Mares, S & Woodgate, S. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for Toddlers (PCIT-T): changing infant behaviour through changing relationship experience. Poster presented to the Australian Association of Infant Mental Health national conference, Melbourne Australia, November 2017.

6. Kohlhoff, J, Cargo, T, Troutman, B. Integrating attachmentrelated constructs into PCIT: clinical and research perspectives. Symposium at the 2017 PCIT International Convention, Michigan, USA, September 2017.

7. Wallace, N, Girard, E, Morgan, S, Kohlhoff, J, McNeil, C. PCIT for Toddlers (PCIT-T): Mini skills workshop at the 2017 PCIT International Convention, Michigan, USA, September 2017.

8. Kohlhoff, J, Morgan, S & Mares, S. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for young Toddlers (PCIT-T): Changing experience as well as behaviour. Poster presented at the International Attachment Conference, London UK, July 2017.



“We’ve treated families from Armidale, Dubbo, Bega and Byron Bay, with all showing dramatic changes in the children’s behaviour, and parents reporting a reduction in disobedience, hurting parents and siblings and extreme tantrums."

Dr Jane Kohlhoff, Senior Lecturer in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health, School of Psychiatry at the University of NSW


For more research projects click here.

List of publications and conference presentations 2010 to 2015.


Articles on research projects:

Creating Better Futures for Children through Effective Parent Education – Confidence keeps the family strong – Sydney Morning Herald, 22 July 2015


For more information:

Contact Karitane Education & Research Department:
Postal Address: PO Box 241, Villawood NSW 2163
Street Address: 138-150 The Horsley Drive (entry and parking via Mitchell Street), Carramar, NSW 2163
Ph: (02) 9794 2344
Fax: (02) 9794 2323

Related Topics

Our Services

Our Services

Our Services

Established in 1923, Karitane is a respected and trusted service leader in parenting services across NSW. Karitane delivers high quality, comprehensive, evidence-based parenting services for families and the provision of education and training to healthcare professionals and non-government organisation. Education and research underpins the delivery of our clinical care. We lead and disseminate the latest evidence-based research ensuring we provide the best advice to parents and educate health professionals, staff, students and academia.

Learn More
Annual Reports

Annual Reports

Annual Reports

Annual Reports

Learn More
Professional Development

Professional Development

Professional Development

Professional Development

Learn More
Back to Top