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Institute of Early Childhood

Dr Melissa Johnstone

bio Johnstone Melissa

  • Title: Dr
  • Position: Lecturer, Health and Human Sciences
  • Qualifications: MA, PhD

Contact Details

Phone: (02) 9850 9807
Fax: (02) 9850 9890
Room: 274, Building X5B

Areas of Expertise

  • Gender, life transitions and psychological well-being
  • Emerging adulthood and psychological well-being
  • Women, work and family
  • Transitions out of homelessness
  • The health implications of policy change on health


Melissa works as a Lecturer in Health and Human Sciences at Macquarie University. Her research focuses on disadvantaged populations, and key life transitions that are shown to impact or be associated with changes in well-being. She gained her PhD from the University of Queensland in 2010, and has lectured in Psychology and Health and Human Sciences since.

Research Interests

Melissa Johnstone's recent research focuses on:

  • Women's work-life choices. Using longitudinal data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, her research has challenged existing social theory on women's work-life choices.
  • Australian emerging adults. Specifically, she has investigated the applicability of the emerging adulthood period to young Australians, and the experiences and well-being of more disadvantaged minorities during this period, such as young mothers and unemployed youth.
  • Transitions out of homelessness. As part of a team aimed at understanding how to break the cycle of homelessness, her work has investigated the psychosocial factors contributing to the well-being of those transitioning out of homelessness.



Refereed Journal Articles

Johnstone, M., Jetten, J., Dingle, G. A., Parsell, C., & Walter, Z. C. (2015). Discrimination and well-being amongst the homeless: The role of multiple group membership. Frontiers in Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00739

Mulherin, K., & Johnstone, M. (2015). Qualitative accounts of teenage and emerging adult women adjusting to motherhood.  Journal of Infant and Reproductive Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/02646838.2015.1042963

Johnstone, M. & Feeney, J. (2015). Individual differences in response to workplace stress: The contribution of attachment theory. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jasp.12308

Dingle, G., Cruwys, T., Jetten, J., Johnstone, M., & Walter, Z. (2014). The benefits of participation in recreational group activities for adults at risk of homelessness, Parity, 27(6), 18-19. Retrieved from;dn=564272085217936;res=IELFSC

Johnstone, M., & Lee, C. (2014). Lifestyle Preference Theory: No match for young Australian women. Journal of Sociology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1440783313518247

Johnstone, M., & Lee, C. (2012). Young Australian women and their aspirations: "It's hard enough thinking a week or two in advance at the moment." Journal of Adolescent Research, 27, 351-376. doi: 10.1177/0743558411409932

Johnstone, M., Lucke, J., & Lee, C. (2011). Influences of marriage, motherhood, and other life events on Australian women's employment aspirations. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 35, 267-281. doi: 10.1177/0361684310388502

Johnstone, M., & Lee, C. (2009). Young Australian women's aspirations for work and family: Individual and sociocultural differences. Sex Roles, 61,204-220. doi: 10.1007/s11199-009-9622-8

Johnstone, M., & Lee, C. (2009). Young Australian women's aspirations for work and family. Family Matters, 81, 5-14.