Prof Richard O'Kearney

Senior Research Fellow
Building 39, Room 127
 612 58158



BA (Queensland); Master Clinical Psychology (Sydney); PhD (Griffith)


I worked as a clinical psychologist at Westmead Hospital, Royal Price Alfred Hospital and with University clinics before completing my PhD in August 2001. I was appointed as director of the ANU Clinical Psychology Training program in October 2002 and held that position until January 2009. I was chair of the ACT section of the APS College of Clinical Psychologists from 2007 until 2010 and a member of the National Executive of the College of Clinical Psychologists during this time. I was deputy chair of the Psychologists Registration Broad of the Australian Capital Territory from 2004 to 2006 and headed the Boards’ ethics and complaints committee.

I am currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Research School of Psychology, The Australian National University.


Research awards

  • Research Excellence Award, 2007
  • Research Excellence Award, 2007

Research interests

The main areas of my research activities are; the link between language and the development of psychopathology in children including language difficulties as a risk for emotional and behavioural problems and  ADHD; the development of emotional abilities in children and adolescents with anxiety, depression and conduct disorders; emotional memories and adjustment in PTSD; and meta-analytic research on the efficacy of psychological interventions and on modifiable factors to the prevention of psychological disorders.


Category A grants

O’Kearney, R. & Salmon, K. (ARC Discovery Grant). Enhancing emotion knowledge in pre-schoolers with disruptive behaviour: the role of mother-child emotion talk.

McKone, E., Palermo, R., O'Kearney, R., Moore, T. (ARC Discovery Grant). Perceptual and psychosocial factors associated with individual differences in face identity and face expression processing.

O’Kearney, R.  (ARC Discovery Grant). Trauma memory and narratives in post-traumatic distress. Australian Research Council, Discovery grant.

O’Kearney, R., Jorm, A., Kitchener, B., Christensen, H., &White, I. (New South Wales Health, Health Promotion Demonstration Grant). Mental Health First Aid: a randomised controlled trial.

Dadds, M., & O’Kearney R. (ARC Project Grant). Emotional regulation and psychopathology in adolescents.

Category B grants

Christensen, H., Griffiths, K., & O’Kearney, R. (Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation). The effects of an Internet-based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy program (“MoodGYM”) on depression, vulnerability to depression and stigma in adolescents in school settings

O’Kearney, R., Gibson, M., Christensen, H., and Griffiths, K. (Australian Government Department of Health and Aging.) The effectiveness of an Internet-based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy program (“MoodGYM”) in reducing vulnerability to depression in adolescents in school settings.


Current students


  • Salmon, K., & O’Kearney, R.  (2013). Emotional memory, well-being, and psychopathology. In P. J. Bauer and R. Fivush, Editors, Handbook on the Development of Children’s Memory, Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Parry, L., & O’Kearney, R. (2013). A comparison of the quality of intrusive memories in posttraumatic stress disorder and depression. Memory DOI:10.1080/09658211.2013.795975 (IF= 2.09)
  • Pech, M., & O’Kearney R. (2013). A randomised controlled trial of problem solving therapy compared to cognitive therapy for the treatment of insomnia in adults. Sleep, 36(5) 739-749. (IF = 5.49)
  • Yew, S., G., K. & O’Kearney, R. (2013). Emotional and behavioural outcomes for children with specific language impairment: meta-analyses of controlled prospective studies. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54(5), 516-524. (IF = 5.42)
  • Dawel, A., O’Kearney, R., McKone, E., & Palermo, R. (2012). Not Just Fear and Sadness: Meta-Analytic Evidence of Pervasive Emotion Recognition Deficits for Facial and Vocal Expressions in Psychopathy Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 36, 2288-2304. (IF = 8.65)
  • Logan, S., R., & O’Kearney, R. (2012). Individual differences in emotionality and peri-traumatic processing. Journal of Behaviour Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 43, 815-822. (IF = 1.86)
  • O’Kearney, R., Hunt, A., & Wallace, N. (2011). Integration and organisation of trauma memories and post traumatic symptoms. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 24 (6), 716-725. (IF = 2.72)
  • Wauchope, B., O’Kearney, R., Bone, L., & Urbanc, A. (2011). Advance agreements for mental health care: An examination of process and outcomes.  Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 45(4), 281-288. (IF = 2.93)
  • O’Kearney, R., Anstey, K. J., Van Sanden, C., & Hunt, A. (2010). Behavioural and cognitive-behavioural therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in children and adolescents; updated review. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2010, Issue 2. (IF = 6.19)
  • Calear, A., Christensen, H & Griffiths, K., McKinnon, A., & O’Kearney, R. (2009). The YouthMood Project: A clustered randomised controlled trial of an online cognitive-behavioural program with adolescents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77(6), 1021-1032. (IF = 4.85)
  • O’Kearney, R., Kanwal, K., Christensen, H & Griffiths, K. (2009). A Controlled Trial of a School-based Internet Program for Reducing Depression in Adolescent Girls. Depression and Anxiety, 26, 65-72. (IF = 4.18)

Updated:  19 August 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director, RSP/Page Contact:  Web Admin, RSP