Dr Frances Gibson

Dr Frances Gibson is lecturer in child development and has a professional background in psychology. Prior to coming to IEC in 2004 she worked in the Northern Sydney and Central Coast Health Service as a clinical and research psychologist involved in the long term developmental follow-up of babies born at high risk (extremely premature) and in disability. She has a particular interest in social emotional development and the relationship between this area, family context, parent child relationships and children's learning and adjustment at school.

Dr Gibson is currently a lecturer in developmental psychology at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University. She has extensive clinical and research experience in psychological assessment concerning developmental and learning difficulties and exceptionality, from infancy through to adolescence. She also has extensive experience in mother-infant attachment.

Dr Gibson is also actively engaged in research and supervision in the areas of the cognitive and emotional development of children and the impact of health risk factors, family adjustment, and educational or therapeutic intervention.


Research Interests

Dr Gibson's PhD research focused on the social and emotional development of children born through assisted conception - invitro fertlisation. This was part of a larger longitudinal study, which had subsequent phases to completion of her own project and contributed to consolidating her interests in research.

Currently, Dr Gibson is the chief investigator or principal on the following research projects including:

  • Parent Age and Transition to Parenthood Australia (PATPA)  - an Australian Research Council linkage grant funded project (2007) that aims to examine first time parenthood at an older age using a Biological, Psychological and Social framework.
  • Multiple birth and the experience of early parenthood  - funded through a Macquarie University new academic staff grant (MUNS) and is a sub-study within PATPA
  • Exploring the Efficacy of an Integrated Child and Family Service Model in a disadvantaged area: Child Parent and Professional Outcomes. This project is conducted through the Children and Families Research Centre at IEC and is funded through a Macquarie University external Collaborative Research Grant together with Burnside Uniting Care