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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

Kerruish, N. J., Healey, D. M., & Gray, A. R. (2017). Psychosocial effects in parents and children 12 years after newborn genetic screening for type 1 diabetes. European Journal of Human Genetics, 25, 397-403. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2016.190

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

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

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

Kerruish, N. J., Healey, D. M., & Gray, A. R. (2017). Psychosocial effects in parents and children 12 years after newborn genetic screening for type 1 diabetes. European Journal of Human Genetics, 25, 397-403. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2016.190

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 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. (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. 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

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

Healey, D. M., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2008). The relationship between ADHD and creativity. ADHD Report, 16(3), 1-5. doi: 10.1521/adhd.2008.16.3.1

Healey, D. M., Miller, C. J., Castelli, K. L., Marks, D. J., & Halperin, J. M. (2008). The impact of impairment criteria on rates of ADHD diagnoses in preschoolers. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36(5), 771-778. doi: 10.1007/s10802-007-9209-1

Healey, D., & Runco, M. A. (2006). Could creativity be associated with insomnia? Creativity Research Journal, 18(1), 39-43. doi: 10.1207/s15326934crj1801_5

Healey, D., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2006). An investigation into the relationship among ADHD symptomatology, creativity, and neuropsychological functioning in children. Child Neuropsychology, 12, 421-438. doi: 10.1080/09297040600806086

Healey, D., & Rucklidge, J. J. (2006). An investigation into the psychosocial functioning of creative children: The impact of ADHD symptomatology. Journal of Creative Behavior, 40(4), 243-264.

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Wheeler, B. J., Lawrence, J., Chae, M., Paterson, H., Gray, A., Healey, D., Reith, D. M., & Taylor, B. J. (2015). Intuitive eating is associated with glycaemic contron in adolescents with type I diabetes mellitus. Proceedings of the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes + Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group (ISPAD + APEG) Joint Annual Conference: Leaping the Barriers. P193. Retrieved from http://2015.ispad.org/jointispad-apeg2015/home

Jaquiery, B., Healey, D., & Franz, E. A. (2012). Attentional lapses, rather than executive functioning deficits, may explain ADHD task performance. Proceedings of the Psycolloquy Seminar. (pp. 17). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/psychology/otago039512.pdf

Healey, D. (2012). Enhancing Neurocognitive Growth with the Aid of Games and Exercise (ENGAGE): A novel early-intervention fostering the development of preschoolers' self-control. Proceedings of the New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsP) & New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists (NZCCP) Joint Conference: Tūtahitanga: Standing Together As One. (pp. 12). Retrieved from http://www.psychology.org.nz/cms_show_download.php?id=1585

Kennerley, S., & Healey, D. (2011). Informant discrepancies in the assessment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Proceedings of the 17th Biennial Conference of the Australasian Human Development Association (AHDA). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/ahda2011/

Harding, J., & Healey, D. (2011). The impact of children’s ADHD symptom severity and maternal characteristics on mothers’ psychological wellbeing. Proceedings of the 17th Biennial Conference of the Australasian Human Development Association (AHDA). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/ahda2011/

Healey, D. (2011). Pathways to childhood risk: Findings from New Zealand longitudinal studies. Proceedings of the 17th Biennial Conference of the Australasian Human Development Association (AHDA). (pp. 64). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/ahda2011/

Hatch, B., Healey, D., & Ruffman, T. (2011). Heart rate variability as a physiological index of emotion regulation in children with and without ADHD. Proceedings of the 17th Biennial Conference of the Australasian Human Development Association (AHDA). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/ahda2011/

Healey, D. M., & Halperin, J. M. (2010). TEAMS (training executive, affective and motor skills): Piloting a novel neurocognitive intervention for hyperactive preschoolers. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 19(Suppl.1), (pp. S72). doi: 10.1007/s00787-010-0117-5

Lie, C., Jack, F., Healey, D., Murachver, T., & Alsop, B. (2010). Forward versus backward classical conditioning: A laboratory demonstration. Proceedings of the New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis Annual Conference. NZABA. Retrieved from http://nzaba.org/previous-conferences/

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Conference Contribution - Poster Presentation (not in published proceedings)

Curchack, J. T., Bedard, A.-C., Yoon, C. A., Marks, D. J., Chacko, A., Ramon, M., Healey, D. M., & Halperin, J. M. (2010, October). Training Executive, Attention, and Motor Skills (TEAMS): Palatability and preliminary efficacy of a novel neurocognitive intervention for ADHD. Poster session presented at the 57th American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Annual Meeting, New York.

Healey, D. M., Gopin, C. B., Grossman, B. R., Campbell, S. B., & Halperin, J. M. (2008, October). Moderating effects of parent-child interactions on impairment in hyperactive/inattentive preschoolers. Poster session presented at the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 56th Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

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Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Healey, D., & Halperin, J. (2016, August). The ENGAGE programme: Fostering approaches to learning through play. Verbal presentation at the University of Otago College of Education (UOCE) Annual Early Childhood Research Hui, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Healey, D. (2014, June). Self-regulation training for hyperactive preschoolers. Verbal presentation at the 50th Anniversary of the Department of Psychology Research Symposium, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Healey, D. (2014, April). ENGAGE for hyperactive preschoolers. Verbal presentation at the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists (NZCCP) and the Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA) Joint Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Healey, D. (2012, April). Enhancing Neurocognitive Growth with the Aid of Games and Exercise (ENGAGE): A novel early-intervention fostering the development of preschoolers' self-control. Invited presentation at the New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsP) & New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists (NZCCP) Joint Conference: Tūtahitanga: Standing Together As One, Wellington, New Zealand.

Healey, D. (2011, November). Assessing the effectiveness of ENGAGE, a novel early intervention for hyperactive preschoolers. Verbal presentation at the Otago Child and Adolescent Well-Being Research Forum, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Healey, D. M., Pharo, H., Hatch, B., Crawford, E., & Halperin, J. M. (2010, October). An evaluation of a novel intervention for hyperactive preschoolers: TEAMS (Training Executive, Affective, and Motor Skills). Verbal presentation at the 57th American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Annual Meeting, New York.

Healey, D. (2008, November). Moderating effects of neurocognitive abilities on the relationship between temperament and global functioning. Verbal presentation at the Psycolloquy Seminar, Dunedin, New Zealand.

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