BA (hons), MBA (Sydney), PhD (Birmingham)


Susan H Spence, B.Sc. (Hons), MBA, PhD (Clinical Psychology) is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Psychology and Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. In addition to her research roles, she has held various university administrative positions including Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) and Pro Vice Chancellor (Learning and Student Outcomes) at Griffith University, Dean of the Division of Linguistics and Psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney, and Head of the School of Psychology and then Head the School of Journalism and Communication at University of Queensland. She also holds the position of Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland.

Her research in clinical psychology focuses on the causes, assessment, prevention and treatment of anxiety and depression in young people. She has published extensively in these areas and has received consistent national competitive grant funding to support her research. She has been on the editorial boards of several international journals and has also been a member of numerous State and Commonwealth advisory committees and granting bodies in Australia, in the area of mental health. She has been elected a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society, British Psychological Society and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

March 2014 – July 2014

Professor, School of Psychology and Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention

Griffith University

April 2009- March 2014

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic)

Griffith University

Nov 2007 – April 2009

Pro Vice Chancellor, Learning and Student Outcomes

Griffith University


Dean, Division of Linguistics and Psychology

Macquarie University

2002- 2005

Deputy President of Academic Board

University of Queensland


Head, School of Journalism and Communication

University of Queensland


Head, School of Psychology

University of Queensland


Professor of Psychology

University of Queensland

Fellow, Australian Psychological Society

Fellow, British Psychological Society

Founding Fellow, Academy of Cognitive Therapy

APS Ian Campbell Memorial Prize for Clinical Psychology

Honorary Professor, University of Queensland


Rapee, R. M., Wignall, A. M., Spence, S. H., Lyneham, H. & Cobham, V. (2008). Helping your anxious child: A step-by-step guide for parents: Oakland, CA, US: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. 276 pp.

Rapee, R. M., Spence, S. H., Cobham, V., & Wignall, A. M. (2000). Helping your anxious child: A step-by-step guide for parents: Oakland, CA, US: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. 160 pp.

Spence, S. H. (1995). Social Skills Training: Enhancing Social Competence with Children and Adolescents. Great Britain: NFER-Nelson.

Wilson, P., Spence, S. H., & Kavanagh, D. (1995). Tecnicas de entrevista clinica. (Spanish edition of 1989 book. ed.). Barcelona: Martinez Roca.

Spence, S. H. (1991). Psychosexual therapy: A cognitive-behavioural approach. London, England: Chapman and Hall.

Wilson, P. H., Spence, S. H., & Kavanagh, D. J. (1989). Cognitive-behavioral interviewing for adult disorders: A practical handbook. Baltimore, MD, US: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Spence, S. H., & Shepard, G. (1983). Developments in social skills training. London: Academic Press.

Spence, S. H. (1980). Social skills training with children and adolescents: A counsellor's manual. Windsor: NFER Publishing Co.

Book Chapters

Spence, S.H., March, S., Vigerland, S., & Serlachius, E. (in press). Internet-based Therapies for Child and Adolescent Emotional and Behavioral Problems. Chapter in: Nils Lindefors & Gerhard Andersson (Eds). Internet Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Psychiatry. Springer: New York.

Donovan, C. L., Spence, S. H., & March, S. (2013). Using new technologies to deliver CBT with children and adolescents. In P. Graham & S. Reynolds (Eds.), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Children and Families – Current Trends. (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

March, S., Spence, S. H., Donovan, C. L., & (2014). Internet Treatment of Youth. In P. M. G. Emmelkamp & T. W. A. Ehring (Eds.), Wiley Handbook of Anxiety Disorders: Theory, Research and Practice (Vol. II). London: Wiley.

Ollendick, T. H., Fraire, M. G., & Spence, S. H. (2013). Transdiagnostic Treatments: Issues and Commentary. In E.-M. J. & C. B. (Eds.), Transdiagnostic Treatment Approaches to Youth Psychopathology. New York: Guilford Publications.

Spence, S.H. (2009). Challenges in school-based, universal approaches to the prevention of depression in adolescents. In C. A. Essau (ed). Treatments for Adolescent Depression: Theory and Practice. Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK, (pp 83-96).

Spence, S.H. (2008). Integrating Individual and Whole-School Change Approaches in the Prevention of Depression in Adolescents. In J. R. Z. Abela, & B. L. Hankin (eds). Handbook of Depression in Children and Adolescents. New York: Guilford Press

Spence, S. H., & Reinecke, M. A. (2003). Cognitive approaches to understanding, preventing and treating child and adolescent depression. In M. A. Reinecke & D. A. Clark (Eds.), Cognitive Therapy over the Lifespan: Theory Research and Practice. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Spence, S. H., & Donovan, C. (2002). Short-term effectiveness of a program to prevent depression in adolescents. In T. O. N.N. Singh, & A.N. Singh (Ed.), International Perspectives on Child and Adolescent Mental Health (Vol. 2). Oxford: Elsevier.

Spence, S. H. (2001). Prevention of depression among adolescents. In P. R. Martin, M. Prior & J. Milgrom (Eds.), Health and medical research: Contribution of the social and behavioural sciences. Canberra: Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and the Australian Psychological Society.

Spence, S. H. (2001). Prevention strategies. In M. W. Vasey & M. R. Dadds (Eds.), The developmental Psychopathology of Anxiety (pp. 325-351). New York: Oxford University Press.

Spence, S. H. (2000). Youth mental health: Overview – Key areas for progress. In M. Sawyer (Ed.), Rotary and science in Australia: Evidence, action and partnership in mental health. Sydney: Australian Rotary Research Fund.

Spence, S. H., & Matos, M. G. (2000). Intervencoes preventivas com criancas e adolescentes. In C. S. M.G. Matos, & S.F. Carvalhosa (Ed.), Desenvolvimento de competencias de vida na prevencao do desajustamento social. Lisbon: Instituto de Reinsercao Social- Minesterio da Justica.

Published Articles in Refereed Journals

Spence, S. H., Sawyer, M. G., Sheffield, J., Patton, G., Bond, L., Graetz, B., & Kay, D. (2014). Does the absence of a supportive family environment influence the outcome of a universal intervention for the prevention of depression? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 11(5), 5113-5132. doi: 10.3390/ijerph110505113

Orgiles, M., Spence, S. H., Marzo, J. C., Mendez, X., & Espada, J. P. (2014). Psychometric properties and factorial structure of the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (SCAS) in Spanish adolescents. Journal of Personality Assessment, 96(1), 95-102.

O’Shea, G., Spence, S.H., Donovan, C.L. (in press). Group versus individual interpersonal psychotherapy for depressed adolescents. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy.

O’Shea, G., Spence, S.H., Donovan, C.L. (in press). Interpersonal factors associated with depression in adolescents: are these consistent with theories underpinning interpersonal psychotherapy? Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy.

Ishikawa, S.-i.; Shimotsu, S.; Ono, T.; Sasagawa, S.; Kondo-Ikemura, K.; Sakano, Y.; Spence, S.H., (2014). A parental report of children's anxiety symptoms in Japan. Child Psychiatry and Human Development 45 (3), 306-317.

Manassis, K.; Lee, T.C.; Bennett, K.; Zhao, X.Y.; Mendlowitz, S.; Duda, S.; Saini, M.; Wilansky, P.; Baer, S.; Barrett, P., et al., (2014). Types of parental involvement in CBT with anxious youth: A preliminary meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

Pössel, P., Rudasill, K. M., Sawyer, M. G., Spence, S. H., & Bjerg, A. C. (2013). Associations Between Teacher Emotional Support and Depressive Symptoms in Australian Adolescents: A 5-Year Longitudinal Study. Developmental Psychology, 49(11),2135-2146.

Verhoeven, M., Sawyer, M. G., & Spence, S. H. (2013). The factorial invariance of the CES-D during adolescence: Are symptom profiles for depression stable across gender and time? Journal of Adolescence, 36(1), 181-190.

Bennett, K., Manassis, K., Walter, S. D., Cheung, A., Wilansky-Traynor, P., Diaz-Granados, N., . . . Wood, J. J. (2013). Cognitive behavioral therapy age effects in child and adolescent anxiety: An individual patient data metaanalysis. Depression and Anxiety, 30(9), 829-841.

Anderson, R.A., Spence, S.H., Donovan, C.L., March, S., Prosser, S., & Kenardy, J. (2012). Working Alliance in Online Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Anxiety Disorders in Youth: Comparison with Clinic Delivery and its Role in Prediction of Outcome, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 14 (3): e88.

Orgiles, M., Mendez, X., Spence, S.H., Huedo-Medina, T.B., & Espada, J.P., (2012). Spanish Validation of the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 43 (2), 271-281.

Sawyer, M.G., Borojevic, N., Ettridge, K., & Spence, S.H. (2012). Do help-seeking intentions during early adolescence vary for adolescents experiencing different levels of depressive symptoms? Journal of Adolescent Health, 50 (3), 236-241.

Spence, S. H,, Donovan, C.L, March, S., Gamble, A., Anderson, R.E., Prosser, S., et al. (2011). A randomized controlled trial of online versus clinic-based CBT for adolescent anxiety. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79, 629-642. doi:10.1037/a0024512

Patton GC, Tollit MM, Romaniuk H, Spence SH, Sheffield J, Sawyer MG. (2011) A Prospective Study of the Effects of Optimism on Adolescent Health Risks. Pediatrics 127 : 306 – 316.

Hernández-Guzmán, Laura; Bermúdez-Ornelas, G., Spence, S. H., Montesinos, M. J. G., & Martínez-Guerrero, J. I. e. a. (2010). Versión en español de la Escala de Ansiedad para Niños de Spence (SCAS). Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología, 42(1), 13-24.

Cobham, V. E., Dadds, M. R., Spence, S. H., & McDermott, B. (2010). Parental anxiety in the treatment of childhood anxiety: A different story three years later. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 39(3), 410-420.

Sawyer, M. G., Harchak, T. F., Spence, S. H., Bond, L., Graetz, B., Kay, D., et al. (2010). School-based prevention of depression: A 2-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial of the beyondblue schools research initiative. Journal of Adolescent Health, 47(3), 297-304.

Sawyer, M. G., Pfeiffer, S., Spence, S. H., Bond, L., Graetz, B., Kay, D., et al. (2010). School-based prevention of depression: A randomised controlled study of the beyondblue schools research initiative. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51(2), 199-209.

Edwards, S. L., Rapee, R. M., Kennedy, S. J., & Spence, S. H. (2010). The assessment of anxiety symptoms in preschool-aged children: The revised Preschool Anxiety Scale. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 39(3), 400-409.

Sawyer, M. G., Pfeiffer, S., & Spence, S. H. (2009). Life events, coping and depressive symptoms among young adolescents: A one-year prospective study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 117(1-2), 48-54.

March, S., Spence, S. H., & Donovan, C. L. (2009). The efficacy of an Internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy intervention for child anxiety disorders. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 34(5), 474-487.

Spence, S. H., De Young, A., Toon, C., & Bond, S. (2009). A Longitudinal Examination of the Associations Between Emotional Dysregulation, Coping Responses to Peer Provocation, and Victimization in Children. Australian Journal of Psychology, 61 (3), 145–155.

Spence, S.H., Donovan, C.L., March, S., Gamble, A., Anderson, R., Prosser, S., Kercher, A., & Kenardy, J. (2008). Online CBT in the Treatment of Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders: Issues in the Development of BRAVE-ONLINE and Two Case Illustrations. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 36, Special Issue 04, 411-430.

Waters, A.M., Lipp,O., & Spence, S.H. (2008) Visual search for animal fear-relevant stimuli in children. Australian Journal of Psychology, 60 (2), 112-125.

Kavanagh, D. J., Spence, S., Sturk, H., Strong, J., Wilson, J., Worrall, L., et al. (2008). Outcomes of training in supervision: Randomised controlled trial. Australian Psychologist, 43(2), 96-104.

Olsson, K. A., Le Brocque, R. M., Kenardy, J. A., Anderson, V., & Spence, S. H. (2008). The influence of pre-injury behaviour on children's type of accident, type of injury and severity of injury. Brain Injury, 22(7-8), 595-602.

Olsson, K. A., Kenardy, J. A., De Young, A. C., & Spence, S. H. (2008). Predicting children's post-traumatic stress symptoms following hospitalization for accidental injury: Combining the Child Trauma Screening Questionnaire and heart rate. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 22(8), 1447-1453.

Murray, B. L., Kenardy, J. A., & Spence, S. H. (2008). Brief report: Children's responses to trauma- and nontrauma-related hospital admission: A comparison study: Journal of Pediatric Psychology Vol 33(4) May 2008, 435-440.

De Young, A. C., Kenardy, J. A., & Spence, S. H. (2007). Elevated heart rate as a predictor of PTSD six months following accidental pediatric injury. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 20(5), 751-756.

Merry, S.H. & Spence, S.H. (2007). Attempting to prevent depression in youth: a systematic review of the evidence. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 1, (1), 128–137.

Masih, S., Spence, S. H., & Oei, T. P. S. (2007). Sociotropic and Autonomous Personality and Stressful Life Events as Predictors of Depressive Symptoms in the Postpartum Period. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 31(4), 483-502

Spence, S.H., & Shortt, A.L. (2007). Can we justify the widespread dissemination of universal, school-based interventions for the prevention of depression among children and adolescents? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48 (6), 526-542.

Kenardy, J., Smith, A., Spence, S. H., Lilley, P.R., Newcombe, P., Dob, R., et al. (2007). Dissociation in children's trauma narratives: An exploratory investigation. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 21(3), 456-466.

Spence, S. H., Holmes, J. M., March, S., & Lipp, O. V. (2006). The Feasibility and Outcome of Clinic Plus Internet Delivery of Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Childhood Anxiety. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(3), 614-621.

Spence, S. H., Lipp, O. V., Liberman, L., & March, S. (2006). Examination of emotional priming among children and young adolescents: Developmental issues and its association with anxiety. Australian Journal of Psychology, 58(2), 101-110.

Donovan, C. L., Spence, S. H., & Sheffield, J. K. (2006). Investigation of a Model of Weight Restricting Behaviour Amongst Adolescent Girls. European Eating Disorders Review, 14(6), 468-484.

Kenardy, J. A., Spence, S. H., & Macleod, A. C. (2006). Screening for posttraumatic stress disorder in children after accidental injury. Pediatrics, 118(3), 1002-1009.

Liberman, L. C., Lipp, O. V., Spence, S. H., & March, S. (2006). Evidence for retarded extinction of aversive learning in anxious children. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44(10), 1491-1502.

Rapee, R. M., Wignall, A., Sheffield, J., Kowalenko, N., Davis, A., McLoone, J., et al. (2006). Adolescents' Reactions to Universal and Indicated Prevention Programs for Depression: Perceived Stigma and Consumer Satisfaction. Prevention Science, 7(2), 167-177.

Sheffield, J. K., Spence, S. H., Rapee, R. M., Kowalenko, N., Wignall, A., Davis, A., et al. (2006). Evaluation of Universal, Indicated, and Combined Cognitive-Behavioral Approaches to the Prevention of Depression Among Adolescents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(1), 66-79.

Shortt, A. L., & Spence, S. H. (2006). Risk and Protective Factors for Depression in Youth. Behaviour Change, 23(1), 1-30.

Spence, S. H., Burns, J., Boucher, S., Glover, S., Graetz, J., Kay, D., et al. (2005). The beyondblue schools research initiative: the conceptual framework and intervention. Australasian Psychiatry, 13(2), 159-164.

Spence, S. H., Sheffield, J. K., & Donovan, C. L. (2005). Long-Term Outcome of a School-Based, Universal Approach to Prevention of Depression in Adolescents. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 73(1), 160-167.

Waters, A. M., Lipp, O. V., & Spence, S. H. (2005). The effects of affective picture stimuli on blink modulation in adults and children. Biological Psychology, 68(3), 257-281.

Rapee, R. M., & Spence, S. H. (2004). The etiology of social phobia: empirical evidence and an initial model. Clinical Psychology Review, 24(7), 737-767.

Waters, A. M., Lipp, O. V., & Spence, S. H. (2004). Attentional bias toward fear-related stimuli: an investigation with nonselected children and adults and children with anxiety disorders. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 89(4), 320-337.

Nauta, M. H., Scholing, A., Rapee, R. M., Abbott, M., Spence, S. H., & Waters, A. (2004). A parent-report measure of children's anxiety: psychometric properties and comparison with child-report in a clinic and normal sample. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 42(7), 813-839.