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Dr Dione Healey Research Interests

 Dr Dione Healy

Tel 64 3 479 7620
Email: dionehealey@psy.otago.ac.nz
Visit Dr Healey's Profile

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common disorders of childhood, causing difficulties for individuals, their families, schools, peers, and society at large. Additionally these children are recipients of numerous services ranging from classroom adaptations, individual therapies, family interventions, medication prescriptions, and A & E visitations following reckless and impulsive behaviours. While effective treatments for the disorder exist, in the form of medication and behavioural management training, they do not have any lasting effects. Once the active intervention is ceased the symptoms return.

Promising Results for "Brain Training" Interventions for ADHD

An extensive body of research has shown that the brains of children with ADHD are delayed in their growth and that these children have a wide array of neurocognitive deficits which likely contribute to their maladaptive behaviour patterns. Psychological research has consistently shown that normal brain development is highly responsive to environmental enrichment. Therefore, researchers in the field have recently begun to develop and test “brain training” interventions for ADHD. The results so far are promising.

ENGAGE: Enhancing Neurobehavioural Gains with the Aid of Games and Exercise

Dr Healey’s research programme is focused on the evaluation of an intervention that she her colleagues have developed; called ENGAGE (Enhancing Neurobehavioural Gains with the Aid of Games and Exercise). This programme uses common children’s games to target skill deficits associated with hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention in an attempt to improve brain functioning and teach self-regulatory skills. The hope is that this intervention approach may lead to more lasting effects than the currently available treatments for ADHD.

Supervision of Student Projects and Thesis on ADHD

In addition to her intervention research, Dr Healey runs a very active research laboratory where she supervises a wide range of student projects and thesis looking at various aspects of functioning in children with ADHD, as well as their teachers and families.

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Publications

Taylor, R. W., Heath, A.-L. M., Galland, B. C., Cameron, S. L., Lawrence, J. A., Gray, A. R., Tannock, G. W., Lawley, B., Healey, D., Sayers, R. M., Hanna, M., Meredith-Jones, K., Hatch, B., & Taylor, B. J. (2016). Three-year follow-up of a randomised controlled trial to reduce excessive weight gain in the first two years of life: Protocol for the POI follow-up study. BMC Public Health, 16, 771. doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-3383-4

Woodward, L. J., Lu, Z., Morris, A. R., & Healey, D. M. (2016). Preschool self regulation predicts later mental health and educational achievement in very preterm and typically developing children. Clinical Neuropsychologist. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/13854046.2016.1251614

Chae, M., Taylor, B. J., Lawrence, J., Healey, D., Reith, D. M., Gray, A., & Wheeler, B. J. (2016). Family CHAOS is associated with glycaemic control in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Acta Diabetologica, 53(1), 4955. doi: 10.1007/s00592-015-0736-x

Healey, D. M., Rajendran, K., O'Neill, S., Gopin, C. B., & Halperin, J. M. (2016). The interplay among temperament, neuropsychological abilities, and global functioning in young hyperactive/inattentive children. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 34, 354-370. doi: 10.1111/bjdp.12134

Wheeler, B. J., Lawrence, J., Chae, M., Paterson, H., Gray, A. R., Healey, D., Reith, D. M., & Taylor, B. J. (2016). Intuitive eating is associated with glycaemic control in adolescents with type I diabetes mellitus. Appetite, 96, 160-165. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2015.09.016

Chapter in Book - Research

Healey, D. (2014). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and creativity: Ever the twain shall meet? In J. C. Kaufman (Ed.), Creativity and mental illness. (pp. 236-249). Cambridge University Press.

Healey, D. M., & Consedine, N. S. (2011). Emotions and psychopathology in the first 5 years of life. In R. E. Tremblay, M. Boivin & R. DeV Peters (Eds.), Encyclopedia on early childhood development. Montreal, Quebec: Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development and Strategic Knowledge Cluster on Early Child Development. Retrieved from http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/documents/Healey-ConsedineANGxp1.pdf

Pritchard, V. E., Healey, D., & Neumann, E. (2006). Assessing selective attention in ADHD, highly creative, and normal young children via Stroop negative priming effects. In C. M. Fletcher-Flinn & G. M. Haberman (Eds.), Cognition and language: Perspectives from New Zealand. (pp. 207-224). Brisbane, Australia: Australian Academic Press.

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Journal - Research Article

Taylor, R. W., Heath, A.-L. M., Galland, B. C., Cameron, S. L., Lawrence, J. A., Gray, A. R., Tannock, G. W., Lawley, B., Healey, D., Sayers, R. M., Hanna, M., Meredith-Jones, K., Hatch, B., & Taylor, B. J. (2016). Three-year follow-up of a randomised controlled trial to reduce excessive weight gain in the first two years of life: Protocol for the POI follow-up study. BMC Public Health, 16, 771. doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-3383-4

Wheeler, B. J., Lawrence, J., Chae, M., Paterson, H., Gray, A. R., Healey, D., Reith, D. M., & Taylor, B. J. (2016). Intuitive eating is associated with glycaemic control in adolescents with type I diabetes mellitus. Appetite, 96, 160-165. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2015.09.016

Healey, D. M., Rajendran, K., O'Neill, S., Gopin, C. B., & Halperin, J. M. (2016). The interplay among temperament, neuropsychological abilities, and global functioning in young hyperactive/inattentive children. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 34, 354-370. doi: 10.1111/bjdp.12134

Chae, M., Taylor, B. J., Lawrence, J., Healey, D., Reith, D. M., Gray, A., & Wheeler, B. J. (2016). Family CHAOS is associated with glycaemic control in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Acta Diabetologica, 53(1), 4955. doi: 10.1007/s00592-015-0736-x

Woodward, L. J., Lu, Z., Morris, A. R., & Healey, D. M. (2016). Preschool self regulation predicts later mental health and educational achievement in very preterm and typically developing children. Clinical Neuropsychologist. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/13854046.2016.1251614

Healey, D., & Halperin, J. M. (2015). Enhancing Neurobehavioral Gains with the Aid of Games and Exercise (ENGAGE): Initial open trial of a novel early intervention fostering the development of preschoolers' self-regulation. Child Neuropsychology, 21(4), 465-480. doi: 10.1080/09297049.2014.906567

Tan, E., Healey, D., Schaughency, E., Dawes, P., & Galland, B. (2014). Neurobehavioural correlates in older children and adolescents with obesity and obstructive sleep apnoea. Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health, 50(1), 16-23. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12390

Miyahara, M., Healey, D. M., & Halperin, J. M. (2014). One-week temporal stability of hyperactivity in preschoolers with ADHD during psychometric assessment. Psychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences, 68(2), 120-126. doi: 10.1111/pcn.12096

Hatch, B., Healey, D. M., & Halperin, J. M. (2014). Associations between birth weight and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptom severity: Indirect effects via primary neuropsychological functions. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 55(4), 384-392. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12168

Miller, C. J., Miller, S. R., Healey, D. M., Marshall, K., & Halperin, J. M. (2013). Are cognitive control and stimulus-driven processes differentially linked to inattention and hyperactivity in preschoolers? Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 42(2), 187-196. doi: 10.1080/15374416.2012.759116

Halperin, J. M., Marks, D. J., Bedard, A.-C., Chacko, A., Curchack, J. T., Yoon, C. A., & Healey, D. M. (2013). Training executive, attention, and motor skills: A proof-of-concept study in preschool children with ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 17(8), 711-721. doi: 10.1177/1087054711435681

Tan, E., Healey, D., Gray, A. R., & Galland, B. C. (2012). Sleep hygiene intervention for youth aged 10 to 18 years with problematic sleep: A before-after pilot study. BMC Pediatrics, 12, 189. doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-12-189

Gopin, C. B., Healey, D. M., Grossman, B. R., Campbel, S. B., & Halperin, J. M. (2012). Task palatability, but not structure, differentially influences mother-child interactions in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder children with and without oppositional defiant disorder. Infant & Child Development, 21(4), 394-410. doi: 10.1002/icd.759

Halperin, J. M., & Healey, D. M. (2011). The influences of environmental enrichment, cognitive enhancement, and physical exercise on brain development: Can we alter the developmental trajectory of ADHD? Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 35(3), 621-634. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2010.07.006

Gopin, C. B., & Healey, D. M. (2011). The neural and precognitive determinants of ADHD. Journal of Infant, Child, & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 10(1), 13-31. doi: 10.1080/15289168.2011.575700

Healey, D. M., Flory, J. D., Miller, C. J., & Halperin, J. M. (2011). Maternal positive parenting style is associated with better functioning in hyperactive/inattentive preschool children. Infant & Child Development, 20(2), 148-161. doi: 10.1002/icd.682

Healey, D. M., Marks, D. J., & Halperin, J. M. (2011). Examining the interplay among negative emotionality, cognitive functioning, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptom severity. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 17, 502-510. doi: 10.1017/S1355617711000294

Healey, D. M., Brodzinsky, L. K., Bernstein, M., Rabinovitz, B., & Halperin, J. M. (2010). Moderating effects of neurocognitive abilities on the relationship between temperament and global functioning. Child Neuropsychology, 16, 20-31. doi: 10.1080/09297040902984490

Healey, D. M., Gopin, C. B., Grossman, B. R., Campbell, S. B., & Halperin, J. M. (2010). Mother-child dyadic synchrony is associated with better functioning in hyperactive/inattentive preschool children. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 51(9), 1058-1066. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02220.x

Gopin, C., Healey, D., Castelli, K., Marks, D., & Halperin, J. M. (2010). Usefulness of a clinician rating scale in identifying preschool children with ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 13(5), 479-488. doi: 10.1177/1087054709332476

Healey, D. (2010). The treatment of Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Where are we at and where are we going? Journal of the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists, 20(3), 25-28.

Healey, D., France, K. G., & Blampied, N. M. (2009). Treating sleep disturbance in infants: What generalizes? Behavioral Interventions, 24(1), 23-41. doi: 10.1002/bin.274

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