Current Work

Susan H Spence, B.Sc. (Hons), MBA, PhD (Clinical Psychology) is an Emeritus Professor in the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention and School of Applied Psychology at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. Her research in clinical psychology focuses on the causes, assessment, prevention and treatment of anxiety and depression in young people. She has published widely in these areas and has received extensive national competitive grant funding to support her research. She has been on the editorial boards of several international journals and has been a member of numerous State and Commonwealth advisory committees and granting bodies in Australia, in the area of mental health. She was elected a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society, British Psychological Society and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. In 2016 she receive the Honour of being appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of her significant contribution to the prevention and treatment of youth mental health problems.

Sue is the author of the Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale, a measure that is widely used internationally and has been translated into over 20 languages. She was one of the developers of BRAVE-ONLINE, and evidence-based internet-delivered treatment program for anxiety in children and adolescents.

In addition to her research roles, she has held various senior administrative positions in the university context, including Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) and Pro Vice Chancellor (Learning and Student Outcomes) at Griffith University, Dean of the Division of Linguistics and Psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney, and Head of the School of Psychology and then Head the School of Journalism and Communication at University of Queensland. She also holds the positions of Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland and Roehampton University in the UK.

Expertise Keywords

  • Adolescent depression
  • Anxiety in children

Subject Area Codes

  • Mental Health

Country Affiliations

  • Australia

Research Publications and Outputs

Recent Publications

Publications: 98 (Other: 98)

Funded Griffith Research

Engagement and Impact

Learning and Teaching

Research by Higher Degree Supervision or Scholarship



Professor Emeritus Spence has a BSc (Hons – 1st class) and a PhD in Clinical Psychology. She is currently based in the Australian Institute of Suicide Research and Prevention, and the School of Applied Psychology at Griffith University and also holds the position of Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland. Her research focusses on the etiology, assessment, treatment and prevention of anxiety and depression in young people. She has received over $10.5 million in research grants during her career and has managed numerous randomised controlled trials to successful completion. She is the author of 8 books, 37 book chapters and over 130 research articles in refereed journals. Her research is highly influential, with over 13,000 citations, with publications in top international journals in her field. She places strong emphasis on translation of her research into clinical practice, being the author of the internationally used Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale and one of the founders of the BraveOnline treatment program. Professor Spence is a member of several editorial boards and is regularly invited to present keynote addresses at international conferences. Her work has been recognised through the awards of Officer of the Order of Australia, Fellowship of the Australian Psychological Society, British Psychological Society; the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia and the Academy of Cognitive Therapy.