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Academic Publications

DR WESTERMAN’S PEER REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS

This page is NOT always up to date with the latest publications. Please email the IPS office if you are seeking information on any of the work undertaken by Dr Westerman. We are always adding to this list of publications.

DR WESTERMAN’S PHD RESEARCH

Westerman, T.G (2003) The development of the Westerman Aboriginal Symptom Checklist for Youth: A measure to assess the Moderating Effects of Cultural Resilience with Aboriginal Youth at Risk of Depression, Anxiety and Suicidal Behaviours. Abstract of Doctor of Philosophy Thesis. Curtin University.

The Phd of Dr Tracy Westerman which involved numerous Australian firsts including the development of the FIRST clinically and culturally validated screening tool for Aboriginal youth at risk; a unique set of practitioner guidelines to address practitioner bias in the culturally valid assessment of Aboriginal people. It also established a unique aetiology for Aboriginal suicide for the first time. Additionally, it empirically validated an engagement model for suicidal Aboriginal people, the initial development of the Acculturation and Acculturative Stress Scales. The initial development of the Aboriginal Mental Health Cultural Competency Profile, and finally, the validation of Culture Bound Syndromes in Aboriginal Australian populations. Dr Westerman was the FIRST Aboriginal person to complete a PhD in Health Sciences and Psychology in Australia. Her PhD received an average of an “A” grade across three examiners. It was previously under embargo and is now available here. Many of the below publications originated from Dr Westerman’s PhD.

Westerman, T.G (2021). Culture-bound syndromes in Aboriginal Australian populations, Clinical Psychologist, 25(2): 1-17

This paper is the FIRST data driven, empirical study which validated culture-bound syndromes in Aboriginal Australian populations for this first time. Considered to be such an important paper by the Editors of Clinical Psychologist that FREE access was provided until August, 2021. You can download it here. 

Westerman, T.G & Sheridan., L (2020). Whole of Aboriginal Community Suicide Prevention Forums, Australian Psychologist, 55, pp. 363-374

This paper is the FIRST published paper in Australian demonstrating whole of community suicide risk reduction, improvements in knowledge base and intentions to help etc., It uniquely takes a ‘whole community’ approach. It is based upon Westerman (2003) Phd which determined a unique aetiology to Indigenous suicide. The program was developed based on these differences, making them the only EVIDENCE based programs developed specifically for Aboriginal people. These programs have been replicated across multiple states, language groups despite having ZERO funding for their development and delivery.

Westerman, T.G. (2010) Engaging Australian Aboriginal Youth in Mental Health Services, Australian Psychologist, Vol 45(3)

This paper describes the empirical validation of an engagement model for at risk Aboriginal youth as part of the PhD research of Adjunct Professor Tracy Westerman. This involved undertaking suicide risk assessment of 103 Aboriginal youth (13 – 17 years) determined ‘at risk’ via screening with the WASC-Y and validating a engagement process for clinicians working with at risk Aboriginal youth.

Vicary, D.A., & Westerman, T.G (2004). That’s Just the Way He Is: Some Implications of Aboriginal Mental Health Beliefs, Australian e-journal for the Advancement of Mental Health, Vol 3(3) 

SOME OF OUR ARTICLES IN PREPARATION

Westerman, T.G (in preparation). Determining the nature and extent of risk for depression, suicidal behaviours, impulse control, anxiety, and cultural resilience in an Australian Aboriginal youth (aged 13 – 17 years) sample using the Westerman Aboriginal Symptom Checklist – Youth

Westerman, T.G (in preparation). Validation of the Westerman Aboriginal Symptom Checklist – Youth-Revised. A unique psychometric test for Aboriginal youth with a national data set.

Westerman, T.G (in preparation). Validation of the Aboriginal Mental Health Cultural Competency Profile. A culturally determined psychometric test to determine the predictors of mental health cultural competence

Westerman, T.G (in preparation). Validation of the Cultural Competency Profile – Child Protection. A unique psychometric test to determine the predictors of child protection cultural competency

Westerman, T.G (in preparation). Validation of the General Cultural Competency Profile. A unique psychometric test to determine the predictors of cultural competency

SELF HELP & PROMOTIONAL RESOURCES

Westerman, T.G. Grieving Aboriginal Way.
A resource for Aboriginal families experiencing sudden loss.

EXTERNAL VALIDATION OF DR WESTERMAN’S PSYCHOMETRIC TESTS

Bright, C., (2012). Initial Validation of the Westerman Aboriginal Symptom Checklist – Adults (WASC-A)
Validation of the WASC-A scale: a screening tool for Aboriginal Adults (aged 18 and above) at risk of depression, suicidal behaviours, alcohol and drug use, impulsivity and anxiety. The scale also determines levels of cultural resilience as a moderator for risk. The WASC-A is based on the Westerman Aboriginal Symptom Checklist – Youth (WASC-A)

Bright, C (2012). Validation of the Aboriginal Mental Health Cultural Competency Test, Unpublished Masters Dissertation. Murdoch University

Little, J (2007). Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Westerman Aboriginal Symptom Checklist, Youth (aged 13 – 17 years). The WASC-Y manual (2nd edition). The cultural and clinical validation guidelines for the administration of the WASCY, IPS, Perth (WA).

Stathis, Stephen L.Doolan, IvanLetters, PaulArnett, AmandaCory, Storm, and Quinlan, Laura (2012). Use of the Westerman Aboriginal Symptoms Checklist – Youth (WASC-Y) to screen for mental health problems in Indigenous youth in custody. Advances in Mental Health 10 (3) 235239https://doi.org/10.5172/jamh.2012.10.3.235

Validation studies are currently being undertaken for the General Cultural Competency Profile, The Aboriginal Mental Health Cultural Competency Profile and the Cultural Competency Profile – Child Protection (CCP-CP). Please contact IPS for further information.

ACADEMIC OPINION PIECES

A response to the validation of the aPHQ-9 for use with Indigenous Australians
Westerman, T.G & Johnston, G (2000). The adapted Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (aPHQ-9) is a translated version of the PHQ-9 for use as a depression screening tool in Indigenous men from central Australia (Brown et al., 2013).

Westerman T.G. & Wettinger, M. (1998). Working with Aboriginal People. Psychologically Speaking, Western Australian Psychological Society – Psychological Assessment of Aboriginal People.

Westerman T.G. & Wettinger, M. (1998). Working with Aboriginal People. Psychologically Speaking, Western Australian Psychological Society – History of Government Involvement in Aboriginal Issues.

Westerman T.G. & Wettinger, M. (1998). Working with Aboriginal People. Psychologically Speaking, Western Australian Psychological Society – Frameworks of Working with Aboriginal People.

PUBLIC OPINION PIECES

Dr Westerman has written significant national Opinion Pieces on Indigenous suicide prevention, Raise the Age and so forth and has a strong media and radio presence. Most of these pieces can be found on her Media and Opinion Piece pages.

EXPERT WITNESS REPORTS

EXPERT witness evidence of Dr Tracy Westerman to the NSW Parliamentary Enquiry into the Bowraville Murders (2011)

EXPERT witness statement of Dr Tracy Westerman to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (2020)