Monica Cuskelly

UTAS Home Professor Monica Cuskelly

Monica Cuskelly

Associate Dean (Research)

Room A226c, Building A, Newnham Campus

61 3 6324 3461 (phone)

Career summary


  • PhD (1993), 'Psychological adjustment of the siblings of children with Down syndrome', University of Queensland, Australia
  • MAppPsych (1988), 'The perception of behaviour disorders in Down syndrome children and their siblings', University of Queensland, Australia
  • GradDipEd (1986), Armidale CAE, Australia
  • MEdStud (1982), University of Queensland, Australia
  • BA (Hons) (1978), 'The method of loci and imagery skills', University of Queensland, Australia


After working as a psychologist in hospitals and educational systems for some years, I joined the Fred and Eleanor Schonell Special Education Research Centre, The University of Queensland (UQ) as a lecturer. I remained at UQ


Professional practice

  • Registered Psychologist (#PSY0001366604)
  • International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disability
  • Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability
  • American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Australian Psychological Society
  • Asia Pacific Down Syndrome Federation


Human development; Intellectual disability; Developmental disability; Research methods

Research Appointments

  • Interim Director, Centre of Excellence for Challenging Behaviour
  • Vice Chair, Down Syndrome IASSIDD SIRG
  • Executive member, Down Syndrome International

Research Invitations

  • Invited address. Constructing futures: Roles of family. World Down Syndrome Day Conference. United Nations, New York. (2015)
  • Keynote address. Motivation in children with intellectual disability. 2014 Dalian International Summit Forum on Personality Development and Education of Children, Dalian, China. (2014)
  • Keynote address. Challenging the myths and redressing the missteps in family research. The second Asia-Pacific International Association of the Study of Intellectual Disability, Singapore.  (2009)
  • Invited speaker. Brothers and sisters: Their role in the life of a person with a disability. What is the research telling us? Centre for Disability Studies, The University of Sydney, Sydney. (2009)

View more on Professor Monica Cuskelly in WARP


  • Intellectual disability;
  • Down syndrome;
  • Family functioning in families with a member with a disability;
  • Developmental disabilities;
  • Self-regulation;
  • Mastery motivation.

Current projects

  • Down Syndrome Research Program – longitudinal study of the cognitive development of individuals with Down syndrome now in its 35th year; longitudinal study of the development of self-determination in individuals with Down syndrome now in its 20th year; maternal influences on developmental outcomes of individuals with Down syndrome.
  • Self-regulation and mastery motivation in individuals with intellectual disability – influences on, consequences of, and interventions.
  • Constructing Futures: Career development for individuals with an intellectual disability – examination of the hopes and aspirations of adults with intellectual disability and of their parents alongside investigation of expectations held, and services provided by, support service workers.
  • Loneliness and intellectual disability – new area of research; focussed on (1) measurement issues; (2) understanding the reasons for increased vulnerability to loneliness in this population; (3) developmental aspects related to understanding of friendship; and (4) amelioration of loneliness in these individuals.

Fields of Research

  • Developmental Psychology and Ageing (170102)
  • Special Education and Disability (130312)
  • Human Resources Management (150305)
  • Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
  • Education (139999)

Research Objectives

  • Special Needs Education (939907)
  • Families and Family Services (940112)
  • Ability and Disability (940101)
  • Education and Training Systems Policies and Development (930501)
  • Learner and Learning Achievement (930101)
  • Education and Training (939999)
  • Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) (920599)
  • Learner and Learning Processes (930102)
  • Ageing and Older People (940103)
  • School/Institution Community and Environment (930402)
  • Health Education and Promotion (920205)
  • Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences (970117)
  • Mental Health Services (920209)


On the editorial boards of:

  • Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • International Journal of Disability, Development and Education
  • Voice

Total publications


Journal Article

(24 outputs)
2017Gilmore L, Cuskelly M, 'Associations of child and adolescent mastery motivation and self-regulation with adult outcomes: a longitudinal study of individuals with Down syndrome', American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 122, (3) pp. 235-246. ISSN 1944-7515 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1352/1944-7558-122.3.235 [eCite] [Details]


2017Riany YE, Meredith P, Cuskelly M, 'Understanding the influence of traditional cultural values on Indonesian parenting', Marriage & Family Review, 53, (3) pp. 207-226. ISSN 0149-4929 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01494929.2016.1157561 [eCite] [Details]


2017Su H, Cuskelly M, Gilmore L, Sullivan K, 'Authoritative parenting of Chinese mothers of children with and without intellectual disability', Journal of Child and Family Studies, 26, (4) pp. 1173-1183. ISSN 1062-1024 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s10826-016-0628-x [eCite] [Details]


2016Cuskelly M, Gilmore L, Glenn S, Jobling A, 'Delay of gratification: a comparison study of children with Down syndrome, moderate intellectual disability and typical development', Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 60, (9) pp. 865-873. ISSN 0964-2633 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/jir.12262 [eCite] [Details]


2016Cuskelly M, Povey J, Jobling A, 'The trajectory of development of receptive vocabulary in individuals with Down syndrome', Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 13, (2) pp. 111-119. ISSN 1741-1122 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/jppi.12151 [eCite] [Details]


2016Cuskelly M, 'Contributors to adult sibling relationships and intention to care of siblings of individuals with Down syndrome', American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 121, (3) pp. 204-218. ISSN 1944-7515 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1352/1944-7558-121.3.204 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1


2016Mann G, Moni K, Cuskelly M, 'Parents' views of an optimal school life: using Social Role Valorization to explore differences in parental perspectives when children have intellectual disability', International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 29, (7) pp. 964-979. ISSN 0951-8398 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/09518398.2016.1174893 [eCite] [Details]


2016Riany YE, Cuskelly M, Meredith P, 'Cultural beliefs about autism in Indonesia', International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 63, (6) pp. 623-640. ISSN 1034-912X (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/1034912X.2016.1142069 [eCite] [Details]


2016Riany YE, Meredith P, Cuskelly M, 'Understanding the Influence of Traditional Cultural Values on Indonesian Parenting', Marriage & Family Review pp. 1-20. ISSN 0149-4929 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01494929.2016.1157561 [eCite] [Details]


2016Wooderson J, Cuskelly M, Meyer K, 'Evaluating the performance improvement preferences of disability service managers: An exploratory study using Gilbert's Behavior Engineering model', Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities pp. 1-11. ISSN 1360-2322 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/jar.12260 [eCite] [Details]


2016Gilmore L, Ryan B, Cuskelly M, Gavidia-Payne S, 'Understanding maternal support for autonomy in young children with Down syndrome', Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 13, (2) pp. 92-101. ISSN 1741-1122 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/jppi.12163 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1


2015Cuskelly M, 'Commentary on Improving policy and practice: Adults with intellectual disability and their families (Fyffe, Pierce, Ilsley, & Paul, 2015)', Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 2, (1) pp. 79-82. ISSN 2329-7018 (2015) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

DOI: 10.1080/23297018.2015.1021707 [eCite] [Details]


2015Cuskelly M, Morris M, Gilmore L, Besley T, 'Parents' reported use and views of strategies for managing the behaviour of their preschool child', Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 40, (2) pp. 99-106. ISSN 1836-9391 (2015) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

2015Gilmore L, Cuskelly M, Browning M, 'Mastery motivation in children with intellectual disability: Is there evidence for a Down syndrome behavioural phenotype?', International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 62, (3) pp. 265-275. ISSN 1034-912X (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/1034912X.2015.1020923 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1


2015Mann G, Cuskelly M, Moni K, 'Choosing a school: parental decision-making when special schools are an option', Disability & Society, 30, (9) pp. 1413-1427. ISSN 0968-7599 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/09687599.2015.1108182 [eCite] [Details]


2015Morgan MF, Moni KB, Cuskelly M, 'The development of research skills in young adults with intellectual disability in participatory research', International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 62, (4) pp. 438-457. ISSN 1034-912X (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/1034912X.2015.1028905 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1


2015Su H, Cuskelly M, Gilmore L, Sullivan K, 'Examination of a scale assessing attitudes towards individuals with intellectual disability in China', International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 62, (6) pp. 660-675. ISSN 1034-912X (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/1034912X.2015.1077938 [eCite] [Details]


2014Cuskelly M, Gilmore L, 'Motivation in children with intellectual disability', Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 1, (1) pp. 51-59. ISSN 2329-7018 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/23297018.2014.906051 [eCite] [Details]


2014Gilmore L, Cuskelly M, 'Vulnerability to loneliness in people with intellectual disability: An explanatory model', Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 11, (3) pp. 192-199. ISSN 1741-1122 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/jppi.12089 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 6


2014Hunter L, Abbot R, Macdonald D, Ziviani J, Cuskelly MM, 'Active kids active minds: a physical activity intervention to promote learning?', Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education, 5, (2) pp. 117-131. ISSN 1837-7130 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/18377122.2014.906057 [eCite] [Details]


2014Mallardo M, Cuskelly M, White P, Jobling A, 'Mental health problems in adults with Down syndrome and their association with life circumstances', Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 7, (3) pp. 229-245. ISSN 1931-5864 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/19315864.2013.842622 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 2


2014Morgan M, Cuskelly M, Moni KB, 'Unanticipated ethical issues in a participatory research project with individuals with intellectual disability', Disability and Society, 29, (8) pp. 1305-1318. ISSN 0968-7599 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/09687599.2014.934440 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1


2014Woodersen JR, Cuskelly M, Meyer KA, 'A systematic review of interventions for improving the work performance of direct support staff', Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 1, (2) pp. 160-173. ISSN 2329-7018 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/23297018.2014.941967 [eCite] [Details]


2013Gray PH, Edwards DM, O'Callaghan MJ, Cuskelly M, Gibbons K, 'Parenting stress in mothers of very preterm infants - influence of temperament and development', Early Human Development, 89, (9) pp. 625-629. ISSN 0378-3782 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2013.04.005 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 27Web of Science - 23


Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Research Enhancement Program (REP) 2017 (2017)$22,500
University of Tasmania ($22,500)
Grant- Research Enhancement Program
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Cuskelly MM

Research Supervision

Supervised 21 successful HDR students to date.




PhDTeachers' Attitudes Toward the Inclusion of Students with autism spectrum disorder at Levels 1,2 & 32017
PhDThe Role Teachers' Attitudes, Training and Understanding Play in the Effective Design and Implementation of Trauma Recovery Programs2017