Karen Hazell-Raine


Registered to supervise postgraduate research

PhD projects

Antenatal detection of vulnerable mother-infant relationship quality


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Karen Hazell-Raine is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Research and Research Training with the Faculty of Health. Karen is by training a Registered Nurse, is an alumni of the Australian College of Applied Psychology and has widened her practice in accordance with the transdisciplinary nature of healthcare systems. Her career is founded on intensive experiential training in process-oriented group psychotherapy for personality and comorbid mental disorders. With a keen interest in the origins of personality development and subsequent interpersonal functioning, Karen has trained and practiced in cognitive-oriented, constructivist, psychoanalytically informed, integrative and dyadic (parent-infant) psychotherapies and counselling. During the late 1990’s (Decade of the Brain) she commenced a Master of Infant Mental Health program and formal study of attachment theory and related assessment measures. Personality is now central to Karen’s work in terms of human development in the context of the emotional quality of early relational experiences. In the spirit of simultaneously optimising both maternal and child mental health, her clinical practice, research, teaching and service development centre on maintaining a focus on mothers, their unborn child and infant, partners, families and their relational environment.  

She has near 40 years of real-world mental health experience equipping her with a high level of education and research translation capability. Her experience spans interdisciplinary clinical and strategic leadership and business administration, service development, education, quality improvement, Policy, advanced practice in specialist perinatal-infant mental healthcare, violence abuse and neglect services, and the dynamic maturational model of attachment and adaptation. Karen is an authorised trainer and maintains research capability in observational adult-infant and adult-toddler relationship methods.

Karen’s Doctoral research demonstrated proof of concept, that an antenatal measure of maternal personality is a stronger predictor of postnatal mother-infant relational quality than both antenatal and postpartum (perinatal) depressive symptoms.

Karen was the inaugural recipient of the Elaine Tolley Medal for mental health research, Westmead Medical Research Foundation. As a longterm member of the World Association of Infant Mental Health and Australian Association of Infant Mental Health (AAIMH), when she relocated to the Northern Territory (NT), Karen established the first AAIMH NT Branch.

Karen is registered to supervise higher degree research.

Research interests

  • Antenatal detection of postnatal mother-infant relationship quality
  • Perinatal/parental infant and child mental health (0-5 years)
  • Early identification and intervention for maternal and infant/child mental health challenges
  • Perinatal/parental and child mental health in priority populations
  • Observational adult-child (<5 years) relationship measures


External positions

Adjunct Lecturer, The University of Sydney


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