Ms Kirsty Dempster-Rivett

Kirsty Dempster-Rivett

Teaching Fellow

Qualifications: MSocSci, PGDipClinPsych

About Kirsty

Since graduating from the University of Waikato, I have accumulated a diverse range of experience as a Clinical Psychologist. This has involved multiple roles within government agencies such as The Department of Corrections, Waikato District Health Board, as well as community based practice especially in collaboration with Waikato schools and Non-Government Organisations.  Specifically, my career has focused on working with young people who have experienced significant trauma and the provision of ACC sensitive claims supervision.   A significant proportion of my work has been with children and young people in care with a specific focus on suicide and self-harming prevention and postvention.

This work afforded me the opportunity to work alongside many talented people who were doing the best they could to help vulnerable communities.  I became aware that whilst there was a lot of practical wisdom out there, at times I was unsure of the theoretical basis or empirical evidence to support some of the interventions being used.  Therefore, I began to increasingly use my links with the University of Waikato and resources available through being an alumnus and a Teaching Fellow to keep myself and colleagues up to date on current thinking and research.  It has been my experience that the community is very interested in what university based research can offer them in terms of developing best practice models.  This in turn has become one of my main motivators for doing my PhD and to continue teaching the next generations of Psychologists.

Papers Taught

Research Interests

Nationally and internationally research has identified a high prevalence of exposure to childhood traumatic events in offending populations.  Subsequently, researchers have hypothesised that a history of child abuse and neglect are risk factors that predict a higher likelihood of contact with justice systems. More recently there has been an increasing push from the ground floor up to move towards the inclusion of trauma informed care in the rehabilitation of offenders.  Thus,  the first part of my PhD research is focusing on a review of existing theoretical rationales that help explain the potential pathways for this phenomena.  The outcome of the literature review will then inform the development of an investigation into the mechanisms that underpin pathways that link exposure to childhood traumatic events to offending behaviours.


Children; Psychology; Youth

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Dempster-Rivett, Ms Kirsty 9232 kirstydr K.1.02 School of Psychology

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