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Gareth Treharne

Tel 64 3 479 7630

Professor Gareth Treharne's research interests are in health psychology, illness perceptions, sexuality and gender, and the application of qualitative and quantitative research methods. He has been involved in a range of projects investigating the predictors of well-being among people with chronic illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, particularly in collaboration with colleagues in medicine and physiotherapy. He has carried out research into medication adherence and the provision of non-pharmacological interventions, particularly tailored exercise and smoking cessation support. Gareth takes a social justice approach to research, informed by critical theory, reflexivity and targeting inequalities. He has led research into identity, discrimination and well-being in relation to sexuality, gender and ethnicity.

Gareth has been an author of over 100 papers and chapters. He is on the editorial board of Musculoskeletal Care, Qualitative Research in Psychology and Stress & Health, and previously co-edited a special issue of Gay & Lesbian Issues & Psychology Review. He is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, having joined the Society as a Graduate Member in 1999. He is the current Chair of the International Society for Critical Health Psychology and was the Society's Vice-Chair for 2015-2017 and Secretary for 2009–2015. He has been a past recipient of a Matariki Network of University's travel award, a Wellcome Trust (UK) Value in People award, a European League Against Rheumatism conference award and a British Society for Rheumatology Young Investigator award. In 2015 he was awarded for exemplary student support by the University of Otago's Disability Information & Support service.

Gareth joined the Department in 2007 and teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He is available to supervise postgraduate students in his areas of interest.


  • PSYC 210 Principles of Psychological Research
  • PSYC 203 Abnormal Psychology
  • PSYC 423 Advanced Topics in Health Psychology

Research Interests

  • Health psychology and illness perceptions
  • Treatment adherence and communication
  • Critical theory and social constructionism
  • Reflexivity and research methods

Find out more about Professor Treharne's research interests


Smith, C. M., Treharne, G. J., & Carrington, L. (2024). Wellbeing perceptions of humans Who “borrow” and “loan” dogs in the context of a dog-walk. Society & Animals. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1163/15685306-bja10173

Ashdown, J. D., Treharne, G. J., Neha, T., & Aitken, C. (2023). Therapeutic community retention trends and factors associated with 3-month retention in Aotearoa New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 52(1), 4-14.

Bloxham, I., Treharne, G., & Taumoepeau, M. (2023). “Just know posting pictures of your ill body helps others thrive in their illness”: Eating disorder recovery content on TikTok. Proceedings of the Psycolloquy Symposium. (pp. 24). Dunedin, New Zealand: Department of Psychology, University of Otago. Retrieved from

Restivo, F., Clifford, A., & Treharne, G. (2023). Psychological abuse in intimate relationships: The process of leaving. Proceedings of the Psycolloquy Symposium. (pp. 23). Dunedin, New Zealand: Department of Psychology, University of Otago. Retrieved from

Mason, A., Schimanski, I., Treharne, G. J., Rapsey, C., & Scarf, D. (2023). A test of the Three Step Theory for suicide in Aotearoa New Zealand university students. Proceedings of the New Zealand Biostatistics Conference. Retrieved from

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