Associate Professor Ngaire Donaghue
BSc(Hons), PhD (Melb)

Associate Professor

About me

I am a social psychologist working on questions concerning gender and embodiment. I received my PhD from The University of Melbourne and have been at Murdoch since 1998.



Teaching area

Ngaire is the Academic Chair of the Honours Program in Psychology.  She teaches a unit in the Social Psychology minor (PSY218 Self and Society) and in the Honours program (PSY411 Psychology Honours Seminar).

Research areas

My research investigates questions concerning gender, body image and obesity from the perspective of critical-feminist psychology.

I work with a large and active group of research students (PhD and Honours) and our work explores how social understandings of concepts such as gender and body image shape and constrain the kinds of identities that are developed by men and women of different shapes and sizes.

Doctoral and masters supervisions

You should list the students you are supervising or have supervised and the topic areas covered here.

Research Supervision

Doctoral completions:

Evelina Nikolova (PhD, 2012). Understanding Bystander Responses to Incidents of Domestic Violence against Women Perpetrated by their Male Partners

Susanne Stanley (PhD, 2012). The discursive construction of schizophrenia as a problem of self in relationship.

Renee Carey (PhD, 2011). “What you look like is such a big factor”: Exploring the role of peer appearance cultures in the high school environment.

Anita Williams (PhD, 2010). Psychology and natural science: The relation between the natural scientific attitude, the theoretical attitude and the life-world in ethnomethodology and phenomenology.

Lisa Hartley (PhD, 2010). Going somewhere or staying put? The social psychology of movements that challenge minority-majority relations

Shaun Dempsey (PhD, 2009). The creation of the public image of psychologists: An applied psychological investigation

Rachael Bellair (PhD, 2009). Therapeutic interaction in Anorexia Nervosa treatment

Don Bysouth (PhD, 2007). “A Jolly Good Nutter”: A discursive psychological examination of bipolar disorder in psychotherapeutic interactions

Tim Kurz (PhD, 2004) A psychology of environmentally sustainable behaviour

Vivienne Lewis (DPsych, 2003) Body image in context: The relationship between body image, goal striving and well-being

Currently Enrolled Doctoral Students

Lauren Hall

Avelie Stuart

Margaret O’Neill

Geraldine O’Brien

Olivia Monson

Roberto Paraga-Martin

Melanie Freeman

Alice Goddard

Damien Mellifont



  • Kurz, T., Donaghue, N., (2013),Gender and Discourse,In: The SAGE Handbook of Gender and Psychology, Sage Publications Ltd, pages 61 to 77.
  • Gill, R., Donaghue, N., (2013),As if Postfeminism had come true: The turn to agency in cultural studies of 'sexualisation'.,In: Gender, Agency, and Coercion, Palgrave Macmillan, pages 240 to 257.


  • Thompson, L., Donaghue, N., (2014), The confidence trick: Competing constructions of confidence and self-esteem in young Australian women's discussions of the sexualisation of culture, Women's Studies International Forum, 47, PA, pages 23 - 35.
  • Donaghue, N., (2014), The Moderating Effects of Socioeconomic Status on Relationships Between Obesity Framing and Stigmatization of Fat People (ONLINE FIRST JAN 2014), Fat Studies: an interdisciplinary journal of body weight and society, 3, 1, pages 6 - 16.
  • Carey, R., Donaghue, N., Broderick, P., (2014), Body image concern among Australian adolescent girls: The role of body comparisons with models and peers, Body Image, 11, 1, pages 81 - 84.
  • O'Brien, G., Donaghue, N., Walker, I., Wood, C., (2014), Deservingness and Gratitude in the Context of Heart Transplantation, Qualitative Health Research, 24, 12, pages 1635 - 1647.
  • Williams, K., Donaghue, N., Kurz, T., (2013), "Giving Guilt the Flick"?: An Investigation of Mothers' Talk About Guilt in Relation to Infant Feeding, Psychology of Women Quarterly, 37, 1, pages 97 - 112.
  • Stuart, A., Thomas, E., Donaghue, N., Russell, A., (2013), "We may be pirates, but we are not protesters": Identity in the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Political Psychology, 34, 5, pages 753 - 777.
  • Hall, L., Donaghue, N., (2013), 'Nice girls don't carry knives': Constructions of ambition in media coverage of Australia's first female prime minister, British Journal of Social Psychology, 52, 4, pages 631 - 647.
  • Hartley, L., McGarty, C., Donaghue, N., (2013), Understanding disagreement within the majority about action to atone for past wrongs, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 43, SUPPL.2, pages E246 - E261.
  • Carey, R., Donaghue, N., Broderick, P., (2013), Peer culture and body image concern among Australian adolescent girls: A hierarchical linear modeling analysis, Sex Roles, 69, 5-6, pages 250 - 263.
  • Stuart, A., Donaghue, N., (2012), Choosing to conform: The discursive complexities of choice in relation to feminine beauty practices, Feminism & Psychology: an international journal, 22, 1, pages 98 - 121.
  • Donaghue, N., Clemitshaw, A., (2012), 'I'm totally smart and a feminist...and yet I want to be a waif': Exploring ambivalence towards the thin ideal within the fat acceptance movement, Women's Studies International Forum, 35, 6, pages 415 - 425.
  • Donaghue, N., Kurz, T., Whitehead, K., (2011), Spinning the pole: A discursive analysis of the websites of recreational pole dancing studios, Feminism & Psychology: an international journal, 21, 4, pages 443 - 457.
  • Carey, R., Donaghue, N., Broderick, P., (2011), 'What you look like is such a big factor': Girls' own reflections about the appearance culture in an all-girls' school, Feminism & Psychology: an international journal, 21, 3, pages 299 - 316.
  • Williams, A., Donaghue, N., (2010), 'Now that's a fair dinkum academic debate, but this affects people's lives': a discursive analysis of arguments for and against the provision of warnings about potential side effects of SSRIs in a public debate, Critical Public Health, 20, 1, pages 15 - 24.
  • Dempsey, S., Donaghue, N., (2009), General practitioners' perceptions of psychologists: A response to the Medicare changes in Australia, Australian Psychologist, 44, , pages 279 - 290.
  • Donaghue, N., (2009), Body satisfaction, sexual self-schemas and subjective well-being in women., Body Image, 6, , pages 37 - 42.
  • Donaghue, N., Smith, N., (2008), Not Half Bad: Self and Others' Judgements of Body Size and Attractiveness Across the Life Span, Sex Roles, 58, , pages 875 - 882.
  • Donaghue, N., Walker, I., (2007), Contact sports: Judgements of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australian football players' performance, South African Journal of Psychology, 37, 4, pages 771 - 782.
  • Donaghue, N., Williams, A., (2006), 'Now that's a fair dinkum academic debate, but this affects people's lives: Managing stake and accountability in a 'medico-academic' debate, Australian Journal of Psychology, 58, , pages 56 - 56.
  • Kurz, T., Donaghue, N., Walker, I., (2005), Utilizing a Social-Ecological Framework to Promote Water and Energy Conservation: A Field Experiment, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35, 6, pages 1281 - 1300.
  • Kurz, T., Donaghue, N., Rapley, M., Walker, I., (2005), The ways people talk about natural resources: Discursive strategies as barriers to environmentally sustainable practices, British Journal of Social Psychology, 44, 4, pages 603 - 620.
  • Donaghue, N., Fallon, B., (2003), Gender-role self-stereotyping and the relationship between equity and satisfaction in close relationships, Sex Roles, 48, 5-Jun, pages 217 - 230.
  • Lewis, V., Donaghue, N., (1999), Self-deprecation and estimates of body size in women, Perceptual and Motor Skills, 89, , pages 165 - 171.

*Thompson, L. & Donaghue, N. (in press). The confidence trick: Competing constructions of confidence and self-esteem in young women’s discussions of the sexualisation of culture. Women’s Studies International Forum

*Monson, O., & Donaghue, N. (in press). You get the baby you need: Negotiating new boundaries of social sex selection in the context of assisted reproductive technologies. Qualitative Research in Psychology.

*O’Brien, G., Donaghue, N., Walker, I., & Roberts, C. (in press). Understandings, and misunderstandings, of the ‘gift of life’: The lived experience of heart transplantation. Qualitative Health Research