Professor Rhonda Craven

Institute Director

Areas of expertise: the structure, measurement, development, and enhancement of self-concept and key psycho-social drivers of potential; the effective teaching of Indigenous Studies and Indigenous students; maximising life potential in diverse settings; and interventions that make a tangible difference in educational settings

HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Full

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-0416-6676

Phone: +61 2 9701 4657


Location: ACU North Sydney Campus

Professor Rhonda Craven (PhD, BA (Hons), University Medal, Dip Teach) is the Director of The Institute for Positive Psychology and Education at the Australian Catholic University. Her published works focus on the structure, measurement, development and enhancement of self-concept; key psycho-social drivers of educational outcomes, wellbeing and life potential; effective methods of teaching Indigenous students and Indigenous Studies in educational settings; and interventions that make a tangible difference in educational settings.

Select publications

Recent journal articles

  • Magson, N., Craven, R., Yeung, A., Ryan, R., Dillon, A., Egan, A., et al., (In press). Associations between Basic Psychological Need Satisfaction at Work and the Wellbeing of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Employees. Transcultural Psychiatry.
  • Maïano, C., Morin, A.J.S., Gagnon, C., Tracey, D., Dubé, C., & Craven, R.G. (In Press). Validation of a Revised version of the Physical Self-Inventory-Very Short form for youth with Intellectual Disabilities (PSI-VS-ID-R): A Bayesian structural equation modelling approach. Psychology of Sport & Exercise.
  • Dillon, A., Craven, R., G, Guo, J., Yeung, A., Mooney, J., Franklin, A., & Brockman, R. (2022). Boarding Schools: A longitudinal examination of Australian Indigenous and non-Indigenous borders’ and non-Borders’ wellbeing. British Educational Research Journaldoi:10.1002/berj.3792
  • Magson, N. R., Craven, R. G., Ryan, R. M., Dillon, A., Mooney, J., Blacklock, F., Yeung, A. S., Kadir, M. S., & Franklin, A. (2022). A cross-cultural investigation of basic psychological need satisfaction at work in an Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian sample across occupation types. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1-26. doi:10.1177/00220221211060441
  • Maïano, C., Morin, A. J., Gagnon, C., Olivier, E., Tracey, D., Craven, R. G., & Bouchard, S. (2022). Validation of an Adapted Version of the Glasgow Anxiety Scale for People with Intellectual Disabilities (GAS-ID). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1-13.
  • Durmush, G., Craven, R. G., Brockman, R., Yeung, A. S., Mooney, J., Turner, K., & Guenther, J. (2021). Empowering the voices and agency of Indigenous Australian youth and their wellbeing in higher education. International Journal of Educational Research, 109, 101798.
  • Dubé, C., Olivier, E., Morin, A. J., Tracey, D., Craven, R. G., & Maïano, C. (2021). Toward a Comprehensive Assessment of Relationships with Teachers and Parents for Youth with Intellectual Disabilities. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1-19.
  • Maïano, C., Morin, A. J., Tracey, D., Gagnon, C., Smodis McCune, V., & Craven, R. G. (2021). A psychometric validation of the motives for physical activity measure for youth with intellectual disabilities (MPAM-ID). Disability and Rehabilitation, 1-10.
  • Tracey, D., Maïano, C., Gagnon, C., Craven, R., McCune, V. S., & Morin, A. J. (2021). The Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire adapted for youth with intellectual disabilities (TEOSQ-ID). Psychology of Sport and Exercise56, 102006.
  • Olivier, E., Lacombe, C., Morin, A. J., Houle, S. A., Gagnon, C., Tracey, D., Craven, R., & Maïano, C. (2021). Validation of a Revised Version of the Center for Epidemiologic Depression Scale for Youth with Intellectual Disabilities (CESD-ID-R). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1-14.
  • Olivier, E., Morin, A. J., Tracey, D., Verma, N., Dubé, C., Gagnon, C., ... & Maïano, C. (2021). Development and validation of a multi-informant measure of social behaviors for youth with intellectual disabilities. Research on child and adolescent psychopathology49(12), 1649-1667.
  • Marsh H., Guo J., Parker P. D., Pekrun, R., Basarkod, G., Dicke, T., Parada, R. H., Reeve, J., Craven, R., Ciarrochi, J., Sahdra, B., & Devine, E. K. (2021). An Integrative Review of Cross-National Comparisons of Verbal, Relational, and Physical Peer Victimization: Gender Differences, Paradoxical Anti-Bullying Attitudes, and Well-Being. PsyArXiv. doi:10.31234/
  • Sahdra, B. K., Ciarrochi, J., Parker, P. D., Craven, R., Brockman, R., Devine, E. K., Conigrave, J., & Chang, D. F. (2020, Online First). Discrimination as a Frame-of-Reference Effect in overlapping friendship communities of ethnically diverse youth. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. Online First. doi:10.1037/cdp0000247
  • Marsh, H. W., Guo, J., Dicke, T., Parker, P. D., & Craven, R. G. (2020). Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling (ESEM) & Set-ESEM: Optimal Balance between Goodness of Fit and Parsimony. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 55(1), 102-19. doi:10.1080/00273171.2019.1602503
  • Dillon, A., Craven, R. G., Kaur, G., & Yeung, A. S. (2020). Support for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australian students’ wellbeing at school. International Journal of Educational Research, 9, 101520. doi:10.1016/j.ijer.2019.101520
  • Hanly, M., Edwards, B., Goldfeld, S., Craven, R. G., Mooney, J., & Jorm, L. (2019). School starting age and child development in a state-wide, population-level cohort of children in their first year of school in New South Wales, Australia. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 48(3rd Quarter), 325-340. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2019.01.008
  • Craven, R. G. Seaton, M., & Yeung, A. S. (2017). Attitude to Non-Violence Scale: Validity and Practical Use. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 32(13), 2018-2045. doi:10.1177/0886260515590785
  • Bodkin-Andrews, G., Whittaker, A., Harrison, N., Craven, R. G., Parker, P., Trudgett, M., & Page, S. (2017). Exposing the patterns of statistical blindness: Centering Indigenous standpoints on student identity, motivation, and future aspirations. Australian Journal of Education, 61(3), 225-249. doi:10.1177/0004944117731360
  • Falster, K. Jorgensen, M., Hanly, M., Banks, E., Brownell, M., Eades, S., Craven, R. G., Goldfeld, S., Randall, D., & Jorm, L. (2017). Data Resource Profile: Seeding Success: a cross-sectoral data resource for early childhood health and development research in Australian Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children. International Journal of Epidemiology, 46(5), 1365-1366j. doi:10.1093/ije/dyx051
  • Hanly, M., Falster, K., Craven, R. G., & Jorm, L. (2017). Social and geographical inequalities in school starting age in Australia: A population data linkage study. International Journal of Population Data Science, 1, 101.
  • M., Falster, K., Hanly, M., Goldfeld, S., Jorm, L., & Craven, R. G. (2017). Preschool attendance and early childhood development outcomes in the first year of school for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children in New South Wales, Australia. International Journal of Population Data Science, 1(1), 104.
  • Morin, A. J. S., Arens, A. K., Tracey, D., Parker, P. D., Ciarrochi, J., Craven, R. G., & Maïano, C. (2017). Self-esteem trajectories and their social determinants in adolescents with different levels of cognitive ability. AmericanJournal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 122(6), 539-560. doi:10.1352/1944-7558-122.6.539
  • Morin, A. J. S., Arens, A. K., Maïano, C., Ciarrochi, J., Tracey, D., Parker, P. D., & Craven, R. G. (2017). Reciprocal relationships between teacher ratings of internalizing and externalizing behaviors in adolescents with different levels of cognitive abilities. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46(4), 801-825. doi:10.1007/s10964-016-0574-3
  • Arens, A. K., Marsh, H. W., Craven, R. G., Yeung, A. S., Randhawa, E., & Hasselhorn, M. (2016). Math self-concept in preschool children: Structure, achievement relations, and generalizability across gender. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 36, 391-403. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2015.12.024
  • Craven, R. G., Ryan, R., Mooney, J., Vallerand, R. J., Dillon, A., Blacklock, F., & Magson, N. (2016). Toward a positive psychology of indigenous thriving and reciprocal research partnership model. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 47, 32-43. doi:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2016.04.003
  • Leung, K.C., Marsh, H. W., Craven, R. G, & Abduljabbar, A. S. (2016). Measurement Invariance of the Self-Description Questionnaire II in a Chinese Sample. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 32(2), 128-139.
  • Magson, N., Craven, R., Munns, G., & Yeung, A. (2016). It’s risky business: Can social capital reduce risk-taking behaviours among disadvantaged youth? Journal of Youth Studies, 19(5), 569-592. doi:10.1080/13676261.2015.1098776
  • Marsh, H. W., Craven, R. G., Parada, R. H., & Hamilton, R. L. (2016). Bullies, victims, and not-so-innocent bystannders: Measurement, psychosocial correlates, risk & protective factors, and intervention (Invited Symposium – 2016 International Union of Psychological Science). International Journal of Psychology, 51, 15-30.
  • Marsh, H. W., Craven, R., Parker, P. D., Parada, R. H., Guo, J., Dicke, T., & Abduljabbar, A. S. (2016). Temporal ordering effects of adolescent depression, relational aggression and victimization over six waves: Fully latent reciprocal effects models. Developmental Psychology, 52(12), 1994-2009. doi:10.1037/dev0000241
  • Tracey, D., Craven, R., Yeung, A. S., Tregeagle, S., Burnstein, J., & Stanley, H. (2016). A place to learn: Cultivating engaging learning environments for young rural Aboriginal Australians. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 20(6), 641-658. doi:10.1080/13603116.2015.1102341
  • Yeung, A. S., Craven, R. G., Mooney, M., Tracey, D., Barker, K., Power, A., Dobia, B., Chen, Z., Schofield, J., Whitefield, P., & Lewis, T. J. (2016). Positive Behavior Interventions: The issue of sustainability of positive effects. Educational Psychology Review, 28(1), 145-170. doi:10.1007/s10648-015-9305-7

Recent book chapters

  • Sazali, S., Franklin, A., Dillon, A., & Yeung, A. S. (2020). Cultivating Learner Experiences: Using Information and Communication Technology to Counter Locational Disadvantage. In C. Koh (Ed.), Diversifying Learner Experience(pp. 173-187). Springer, Singapore.
  • Craven, R., Marsh, H., Ryan, R. M., Dicke, T., Guo, J., Gallagher, P., Van Zanden B., Kennedy, M., & Birch, P. (2020). A critical social justice issue of our time: Enabling police wellbeing. In P. Birch, M. Kennedy, M., & E. Kruger (Eds.) Australian Policing: Critical Issues in 21st Century Police Practice (pp. 71-92). London: Routledge.
  • Sazali, S., Franklin, A., Dillon, A., Craven, R. G., & Yeung, A. S. (2019). Cultivating learner experiences: Using information and communication technology to counter locational disadvantage. In C. Koh (Ed.), Diversifying learner experiences: A kaleidoscope of instructional approaches and strategies (pp. 173-187). New York: Springer.
  • Marsh, H. W., Dicke, T., Seaton, M., Parker, P. D., Guo, J., Craven, R. G., & Abduljabbar, A. (2017). Dimensional Comparison Theory: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Festschrift in honor of Jens Möller. Waxmann.
  • Marsh, H. W., Martin, R., Yeung. A. S., Craven, R. G. (2017). Competence self-perceptions.

Frequently cited

  • Marsh, H. W., & Craven, R. G. (2006). Reciprocal effects of self-concept and performance from a multidimensional perspective: Beyond seductive pleasure and unidimensional perspectives. Perspectives on psychological science, 1(2), 133-163.
  • Marsh, H. W., & Craven, R. (1996). Academic self-concept: Beyond the dustbowl. In Handbook of classroom assessment (pp. 131-198). Academic Press.
  • Marsh, H. W., Craven, R. G., & Debus, R. (1991). Self-concepts of young children 5 to 8 years of age: Measurement and multidimensional structure. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83(3), 377-392.
  • O'Mara, A. J., Marsh, H. W., Craven, R. G., & Debus, R. L. (2006). Do self-concept interventions make a difference? A synergistic blend of construct validation and meta-analysis. Educational Psychologist, 41(3), 181-206.
  • Marsh, H. W., Craven, R., & Debus, R. (1998). Structure, stability, and development of young children's self‐concepts: A multicohort–multioccasion study. Child development, 69(4), 1030-1053.
  • Marsh, H. W., Chessor, D., Craven, R., & Roche, L. (1995). The effects of gifted and talented programs on academic self-concept: The big fish strikes again. American educational research journal, 32(2), 285-319.
  • Marsh, H. W., Seaton, M., Trautwein, U., Lüdtke, O., Hau, K. T., O’Mara, A. J., & Craven, R. G. (2008). The big-fish–little-pond-effect stands up to critical scrutiny: Implications for theory, methodology, and future research. Educational psychology review, 20(3), 319-350. 
  • Craven, R. G., Marsh, H. W., & Debus, R. L. (1991). Effects of internally focused feedback and attributional feedback on enhancement of academic self-concept. Journal of educational psychology, 83(1), 17-27.
  • Marsh, H. W., Ellis, L. A., & Craven, R. G. (2002). How do preschool children feel about themselves? Unraveling measurement and multidimensional self-concept structure. Developmental psychology, 38(3), 376-393.
  • Cowin, L. S., Johnson, M., Craven, R. G., & Marsh, H. W. (2008). Causal modeling of self-concept, job satisfaction, and retention of nurses. International journal of nursing studies, 45(10), 1449-1459.
  • Craven, R. G. & Marsh, H. W. (2008). The centrality of the self-concept construct for psychological wellbeing and unlocking human potential: Implications for child and educational psychologists. Educational and Child Psychology, 25 (2), 104-118.
  • Seaton, M., Marsh, H. W., & Craven, R. G. (2009). Earning its place as a pan-human theory: Universality of the big-fish–little-pond effect (BFLPE) across 41 culturally and economically diverse countries. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101(2), 403–419.
  • Marsh, H. W., Nagengast, B., Morin, A. J. S., Parada, R. H., Craven, R. G., & Hamilton, L. R. (2011). Construct validity of the multidimensional structure of bullying and victimization: An application of exploratory structural equation modeling. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(3), 701-732.
  • Marsh, H. W., Craven, R. G., & Debus, R. (1999). Separation of competency and affect components of multiple dimensions of academic self-concept: A developmental perspective. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Journal of Developmental Psychology, 45(4), 567–601.
  • Seaton, M., Marsh, H. W., & Craven, R. G. (2010). Big-fish-little-pond-effect: Generalizability and moderation—two sides of the same coin. American Educational Research Journal, 47(2) 390–433.
  • Marsh, H. W., & Craven, R. G. (2002). The pivotal role of frames of reference in academic self-concept formation: The ‘Big-Fish-Little-Pond’ effect. In F. Pajares & T. Urdan (Eds.), Academic motivation of adolescents (Vol. 2, pp. 83–123). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing. ISBN: 1-59311-154-1.
  • Arens, A. K., Yeung, A. S., Craven, R. G., & Hasselhorn, M. (2011). The twofold multidimensionality of academic self-concept: Domain specificity and separation between competence and affect components. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(4), 970–981.
  • Seaton, M., Parker, P. D., Marsh, H. W., Craven, R.G., & Yeung, A. S. (2014). The reciprocal relations between self-concept, motivation, and achievement: Juxtaposing academic self-concept and achievement goal orientations for Mathematics success. Educational Psychology, 34(1), 49-72.
  • Marsh, H. W., Craven, R. G., Hinkley, J. W., & Debus, R. L. (2003). Evaluation of the big-two-factor theory of academic motivation orientations: An evaluation of jingle-jangle fallacies. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 38(2), 189–224.
  • Marsh, H. W., Tracey, D., & Craven, R. G. (2006). Multidimensional self-concept structure for preadolescents with mild intellectual disabilities: A hybrid multigroup-MIMIC approach to factorial invariance and latent mean differences. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 66(5), 795–818.


Recently awarded grants

  • Deadly Futures: Enabling Indigenous Children’s Literacy, Numeracy, Wellbeing (ARC Linkage Project: LP210100304 (2022-2026)) Funding awarded: $777 000
  • Deadly Start: Enabling Preschoolers’ Literacy, Numeracy and Wellbeing (ARC Discovery Project: DP210100402 (2021-2023)) Funding awarded: $771 651
  • Deadly Start: Online Translation of a Preschool Literacy, Numeracy, and Wellbeing Program (NSW Department of Education, Education Strategic Research Fund) Funding awarded: $144 428

Accolades and awards

  • Member, International Expert Thinktank on Cyberbullying
  • Meritorious Service to Public Education Award (New South Wales Government)
  • Meritorious Service to Public Education Award (New South Wales Government)
  • Finalist for the Business/Higher Education Round Table (BHert) Award
  • Betty Watts Award, Australian Association for Research in Education
  • Expert of International Standing, Australian Research Council
  • Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research Training and Supervision, University of Western Sydney
  • Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Social Justice, University of Western Sydney
  • Invited member of the New South Wales Ministerial Academic Advisory Group for Aboriginal Education
  • Outstanding contribution to research and research leadership, University of Western Sydney
  • Life Achievement Award, National Aboriginal Studies Association
  • Tertiary Teaching Parliamentary Education Fellowship
  • University Medal, University of Sydney

Appointments and affiliations


  • Director, Institute for Positive Psychology and Education, Australian Catholic University, 2014-present
  • Director, Centre for Positive Psychology and Education, University of Western Sydney, 2011-2014
  • Head, Educational Excellence and Equity Research, Centre for Educational Research, 2008–2010
  • Centre Director, Self-Concept Enhancement and Learning Facilitation (SELF) Research Centre, University of Western Sydney, 2006–2008
  • School Director, Research and Research Degrees, School of Education and Early Childhood Studies, University of Western Sydney, 2001–2002
  • College Director, Research Management and Training, College of Arts, Education, and Social Sciences, University of Western Sydney, 2001
  • College Honours Coordinator, College of Arts, Education, and Social Sciences, University of Western Sydney, 1999–2006

Professional affiliations

  • Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)
  • American Education Research Association (AERA)
  • International SELF Research Centre

Editorial roles

  • Editor Craven, R. G. (Ed.). (2011). Teaching Aboriginal studies: A practical resource for primary and secondary teaching. (2nd ed.) Sydney, NSW: Allen
  • Editor International Advances in Self Research: SELF Research Conference Proceedings
  • Editor International Advances in Education: Global Initiatives for Equity and Social Justice.
  • Frierson, H. T. (Series Editor) Craven, R. G. & Mooney, J. (Eds.) (2013). Seeding Success in Indigenous Australian Higher Education (Vol. 14). Diversity in Higher Education. London, Emerald Publishing. ISBN: 978-1-78190-686-6
  • Craven, R. G., Dillon, A., & Parbury, N. (Eds.). (2013). In Black & White: Australians All at the Crossroads. Ballan, VIC. Connor Court Publishing Pty Ltd. ISBN: 978-1-92216-851-1

International journal review panel

Reviewer for

  • Journal of Educational Psychology
  • Child Development
  • International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education
  • Journal of Teacher Education
  • Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist
  • Australian Association for Research in Education
  • Self and Identity
  • International Journal of Testing
  • International Journal of Psychology and Diaspora
  • Indigenous and Minority Education

Grant agency review panel

  • Australian Research Council (ARC) peer reviewer
  • Austrian Science Fund
  • The Swiss National Science Foundation
  • National Centre of Science and Technology evaluation, Ministry of Education and Science, Republic of Kazakhstan
  • Qatar National Research
  • Sultan Qaboos University

Public engagement

  • The magic of mentorship
  • Indigenous Game Changers Research Program ACU and Wonnarua Aboriginal Nation Corporation
  • Dillon, A., Parbury, N., Craven R.G. (2013). Making Australia Better for Aboriginal People. Grad Life Magazine. University of Western Sydney

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