Current Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Zimmer-Gembeck is currently a Professor in the School of Applied Psychology at Griffith University – Gold Coast Campus. Prior to this, from 1999 to 2001, Dr. Zimmer-Gembeck was a National Institute of Mental Health postdoctoral fellow in a multidisciplinary training program at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA. At U of M she worked with Faculty at the Life Course Center (Department of Sociology) and the Institute of Child Development. Research topics included peer relationships, aggression and antisocial behavior; autonomy development during adolescence; dating and sexual behavior, and vocational development.

Dr. Zimmer-Gembeck is Co-Editor of the Journal of Adolescence and the International Journal of Behavioral Development. She is also Consulting Editor for the Journal of Research on Adolescence and on the Editorial Board of Journal of Relationships Research.

Dr. Zimmer-Gembeck completed her PhD (1998) in a combined Psychology/System Science program receiving a degree in Applied Developmental Psychology from Portland State University (PSU) in Portland, Oregon, USA. While at PSU, she worked with Dr. Ellen Skinner investigating development of perceived control in middle childhood and early adolescence. Her research with Dr. Skinner examined a self-system model of development in the classroom incorporating the social context, self, action, and behavioral outcomes. She completed a dissertation titled 'Negotiation and reorganization of peer relationships during adolescence: The emergence of romantic relationships and quality of peer relationships.' This work examined individual differences in the development of romantic relationships during adolescence, the impact of dating behavior on same-sex friendships, the interface of dating, friendships and individual psychosocial functioning, and aggression in dating relationships.

Research areas include

  • The interface of children’s and adolescents’ relationships with peers (e.g. friendships, romantic relationships, peer status, and sexual behaviour) and individual development
  • The development of the self-system (e.g. autonomy, identity, self-perceptions, self-determination, self-regulation, self-esteem)
  • Relational aggression, externalising behaviours, and internalising symptoms (especially in relation to gender)
  • Intervention programs for children and adolescents
  • Statistical methods for analysing change
  • Coping and stress
  • Parenting

Dr. Zimmer-Gembeck is also an Adjunct Faculty Member in the Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center (Oregon EPC) at Oregon Health & Sciences University. Working with colleagues at OHSU and in the Oregon Health Division, she has studied variations in prenatal care services (e.g., ultrasound testing, psychosocial services) on birth outcomes (low birth weight birth) (with Dr. Mark Helfand); gastrointestinal diseases (with Dr. Mark Helfand); adolescent access to health care (with Bob Nystrom and Tammy Alexander); contraceptive access and use; school-based health care; and adolescent pregnancy and parenthood (with Linda Doyle and Jill Daniels). She also (a) was a member of a research team working for the State of Oregon to document domestic violence and child witnessing of interparental aggression (with Barbara Glick and Christine Pham), (b) developed and evaluated community programs for teen parents and (c) completed an evaluation of a dating violence intervention program in middle and high school (age 14-18) (with Paul Edison).

To date, Dr. Zimmer-Gembeck has published more than 140 empirical and review papers, book chapters, monographs and edited books and holds a number of research grants. She is Director of the Family Interaction Program at Griffith University, which includes a number of research programs and interventions (e.g., Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and Parents and Toddlers Together) to support Gold Coast-area families and Director of the Psychological Health Research Unit, Behavioral Basis of Health, Griffith Health Institute.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • American Psychological Society (APS)
  • Australian Psychological Society (APS)
  • Society for Prevention Research (SPR)
  • Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI)
  • Society for Research in Adolescence (SRA)
  • Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD)
  • Teaching of Psychology (TOPSS)
  • Psychology of Relationships Interest Group (APS)