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Associate Professor Dione Healey Research Interests

 Dr Dione Healy

Email: dione.healey@otago.ac.nz
Tel 64 3 479 7620
Visit Associate Professor 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

Associate Professor 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, Associate Professor 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., Haszard, J. J., Healey, D., Meredith-Jones, K. A., Taylor, B. J., & Galland, B. C. (2021). Adherence to 24-h movement behavior guidelines and psychosocial functioning in young children: A longitudinal analysis. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity, 18, 110. doi: 10.1186/s12966-021-01185-w

Leong, C., Liesaputra, V., Morrison, C., Parameswaran, P., Grace, D., Healey, D., Ware, L., Palmer, O., Goddard, E., & Houghton, L. A. (2021). Designing video games for nutrition education: A participatory approach. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2021.07.001

Clifford, A., Shaughency, E., Healey, D., Carroll, J., & Reese, E. (2021). Tender Shoots for ECE: Educator-child conversations and developing socioemotional competencies. Proceedings of the 13th Educational Psychology Forum. CLI21242. Retrieved from http://www.eenz.com/epf

Timperley, S., Shaughency, E., Crawford, I., Gilkison, L., Healey, D., Carroll, J., & Reese, E. (2021). Tender Shoots for ECE: Impact of rich reading and reminiscing on educator-child shared reading interactions. Proceedings of the 13th Educational Psychology Forum. TIM21241. Retrieved from http://www.eenz.com/epf

Leong, C., Müller, A. M., Liesaputra, V., Healey, D., & Houghton, L. (2020). Development plan of a hybrid exergame to help children adopt long-term heart-healthy behaviours. Proceedings of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity (ISBNPA) XChange. (pp. 783). International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Retrieved from https://venuewest.eventsair.com/isbnpa-xchange-initiative

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, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

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

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

Leong, C., Liesaputra, V., Morrison, C., Parameswaran, P., Grace, D., Healey, D., Ware, L., Palmer, O., Goddard, E., & Houghton, L. A. (2021). Designing video games for nutrition education: A participatory approach. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2021.07.001

Journal - Research Article

Taylor, R. W., Haszard, J. J., Healey, D., Meredith-Jones, K. A., Taylor, B. J., & Galland, B. C. (2021). Adherence to 24-h movement behavior guidelines and psychosocial functioning in young children: A longitudinal analysis. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity, 18, 110. doi: 10.1186/s12966-021-01185-w

Journal - Research Article

Healey, D., & Healey, M. (2019). Randomized controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of structured-play (ENGAGE) and behavior management (TRIPLE P) in reducing problem behaviors in preschoolers. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 3497. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-40234-0

Journal - Research Article

Sadeghi, S., McIntosh, J., Shadli, S. M., Healey, D., Rostami, R., Trani, P., & McNaughton, N. (2019). Does behavioural inhibition system dysfunction contribute to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? Personality Neuroscience, 2, e5. doi: 10.1017/pen.2019.5

Journal - Research Article

Healey, D., Gray, A. R., Chae, M., Taylor, B. J., Lawrence, J., Reith, D. M., & Wheeler, B. J. (2018). The role of parent and child self-regulation in children’s glycemic control. Health Psychology, 37(4), 326-333. doi: 10.1037/hea0000554

Journal - Research Article

Kennerley, S., Jaquiery, B., Hatch, B., Healey, M., Wheeler, B. J., & Healey, D. (2018). Informant discrepancies in the assessment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 36(2), 136-147. doi: 10.1177/0734282916670797

Journal - Research Article

Taylor, R. W., Gray, A. R., Heath, A.-L. M., Galland, B. C., Lawrence, J., Sayers, R., Healey, D., Tannock, G. W., Meredith-Jones, K. A., Hanna, M., Hatch, B., & Taylor, B. J. (2018). Sleep, nutrition, and physical activity interventions to prevent obesity in infancy: Follow-up of the Prevention of Overweight in Infancy (POI) randomized controlled trial at ages 3.5 and 5 y. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 108(2), 228, 236. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy090

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

Journal - Research Article

Woodward, L. J., Lu, Z., Morris, A. R., & Healey, D. M. (2017). Preschool self regulation predicts later mental health and educational achievement in very preterm and typically developing children. Clinical Neuropsychologist, 31(2), 404-422. doi: 10.1080/13854046.2016.1251614

Journal - Research Article

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), 49-55. doi: 10.1007/s00592-015-0736-x

Journal - Research Article

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

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

Healey, D. M., & 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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

Clifford, A., Shaughency, E., Healey, D., Carroll, J., & Reese, E. (2021). Tender Shoots for ECE: Educator-child conversations and developing socioemotional competencies. Proceedings of the 13th Educational Psychology Forum. CLI21242. Retrieved from http://www.eenz.com/epf

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Timperley, S., Shaughency, E., Crawford, I., Gilkison, L., Healey, D., Carroll, J., & Reese, E. (2021). Tender Shoots for ECE: Impact of rich reading and reminiscing on educator-child shared reading interactions. Proceedings of the 13th Educational Psychology Forum. TIM21241. Retrieved from http://www.eenz.com/epf

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Leong, C., Müller, A. M., Liesaputra, V., Healey, D., & Houghton, L. (2020). Development plan of a hybrid exergame to help children adopt long-term heart-healthy behaviours. Proceedings of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity (ISBNPA) XChange. (pp. 783). International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Retrieved from https://venuewest.eventsair.com/isbnpa-xchange-initiative

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Burrowes, R., Carroll, J., Cross, T., Fagan, H., Healey, D., Johnson, J., … Schaughency, E. (2018). Shaping our futures: Celebrating transformative educational research. Proceedings of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE) Conference. (pp. 30). Retrieved from http://www.nzareconference.org.nz

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Taylor, R., Heath, A.-L., Galland, B., Gray, A., Lawrence, J., Sayers, R., Healey, D., Tannock, G., Meredith-Jones, K., Hanna, M., Hatch, B., & Taylor, B. (2018). Follow-up at 3.5 and 5 years of the prevention of overweight in infancy (POI) study. Journal of Sleep Research, 27(Suppl. 2), (pp. 36-37). doi: 10.1111/jsr.12764

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Carroll, J., Healey, D., Schaughency, E., Reese, E., Cross, T., Johnson, J., … Burrowes, R. (2017). Te Pihinga: Growing relationships with home based educators to nurture young children's development. Proceedings of the New Zealand for Research in Education (NZARE) Conference. (pp. 26). Retrieved from https://forumpoint2.eventsair.com/QuickEventWebsitePortal/nzare2017/info

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

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

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

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

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

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

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/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

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/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

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/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

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