Dr Bridie Scott-Parker - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Staff profile

Dr Bridie Scott-Parker

PhD Qld.UT, BPsych(Hons 1st class) Qld.UT, BPsych Qld.UT, BSc (Environmental Sciences) Griff.

  • Senior USC Research Fellow, National Health and Medical Research Council
+61 7 5456 5844
Office location
Room 17, Level 1, Thompson Institute, 12 Innovation Parkway, Birtinya
Sunshine Coast
Dr Bridie Scott-Parker

Dr Bridie Scott-Parker leads the Adolescent Risk Research Unit (ARRU).

As a recent recipient of a highly competitive National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship, Dr Bridie Scott-Parker is considered an expert in the domain of young novice driver road safety. This award recognises the significance of her project—Emotions, situation awareness and the risky driving behaviour of young novice drivers and is strengthened by her track record and the supportive environment at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Bridie's doctoral dissertation 'A comprehensive investigation of the risky driving behaviour of young novice drivers' comprised 11 peer-reviewed publications on such topics as the impact of changes to Queensland’s graduated driver licensing program; measuring the risky behaviour of young novice drivers; and the role of sensation seeking, reward and punishment sensitivity, anxiety and depression in the risky behaviour of young novice drivers. Bridie's research focus includes the pervasive problem of young and novice drivers being disproportionately represented in road crash injuries and fatalities. She is interested in a safe systems approach to young driver road safety, intervention development and evaluation, with a particular focus upon the development of the driver from the pre-licence period, through the Learner and Provisional 1 driving phases. She is also interested in adolescent risk taking, and the influence of personal, social (parents, peers), and structural (legislation, police) influences upon risky behaviour.

As leader of ARRU, Bridie is also interested in adolescent health and wellbeing more generally, and includes risk taking, and the influence of personal, social (parents, peers), and structural (legislation, police) influences upon risky behaviour. Teen behaviours such as juvenile delinquency and pedestrians are also of interest, in addition to the health, well-being and experiences of adolescents as they respond to climate change in vulnerable regions such as in the Pacific Islands.

Bridie frequently shares her research findings with the broader community through the media and community seminars and presentations.

Professional memberships


  • USC Advance Awards, 2016: AQT award for Advancing Quality Teaching. Awarded for teaching staff and teaching teams who engage students in a quality learning experience by applying rich and engaging teaching approaches that substantially improve students' learning experiences. Awarded to Dr Kate Mulgrew as the team leader and the PSY102 teaching team (including Bridie Scott-Parker)
  • Vice-Chancellor and President's Award for Excellence, 2015:  Excellence in Research – Early Career Researcher, University of the Sunshine Coast
  • 2015 Queensland Young Tall Poppy of the Year, 2015 Queensland Young Tall Poppy Science Awards, Australian Institute of Policy and Science, in recognition of Bridie's scientific research and communication (jointly awarded with a QUT researcher)
  • National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship for her project:  Emotions, situation awareness and the risky driving behaviour of young novice drivers, 2014
  • Australian Academy of Science speaker, Science Stars of Tomorrow series, 2014
  • USC Research Fellowship, 2013, University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Finalist – 2013 Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) Post-graduate Student Award. This award recognises excellence in all areas of health-related research performed in Queensland
  • Safety 2012 World Conference Scholarship: Flights to and from New Zealand to attend the Conference, 2012
  • 10th National Conference on Injury Prevention Student Bursary: In recognition of student membership and ongoing study and contribution to injury prevention research and practice, 2011
  • Grant-in-Aid Scholarship, QUT, for travel to present at an International Road Safety Conference (24th Canadian Multidisciplinary Road Safety Conference, Niagara Falls), 2010
  • National Health and Medical Research Council Public Health Postgraduate Scholarship: Offered by Australia’s leading expert body promoting the development and maintenance of public and individual health standards, to encourage graduates to obtain formal training in public health research, to conduct research that is internationally competitive and develop a capacity for original independent research, 2008
  • Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) Top-Up Scholarship: Offered to postgraduate students who are offered an Australian Postgraduate Award and who will be working on a project closely aligned to the research priorities of IHBI, 2008
  • Australian Postgraduate Award for a QUT Postgraduate Research Scholarship (not accepted): Funded by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research as a means of promoting Australia’s national intellectual resource, 2008
  • QUT Manuscript Completion Grant, to assist in the writing and submission-for-publication of a paper reporting research reported within the Honours Thesis, 2008
  • Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) Road Safety Prize: Awarded to the student with the most outstanding thesis in the area of road safety in either the Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) Course or the Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology Course, 2007
  • CARRS-Q Honours Bursary: Financial assistance to undertake Honours study within CARRS-Q, in recognition of a very strong academic record, professionalism, and commitment to hard work and excellence confirmed by referee reports, 2005
  • QUT Faculty of Health Equity Award: Awarded to a Health student who demonstrated exceptional application, determination and enterprise, 2005
  • QUT Student Leadership Award: Recognising outstanding contribution in community service and leadership, 2005
  • 2001 QUT A M Fraser Award: Awarded to a Health student who demonstrated exceptional application, determination and enterprise
  • 1999 Golden Key National Society Invited Member: Recognition of outstanding scholastic achievement and excellence

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

  • Road safety of emergency personnel, including paramedics
  • The role of police warnings in risky behaviour
  • Getting in the car to ‘cool down’ – safety implications and potential interventions
  • Positive peer influence to reduce adolescent risky behaviour
  • Anxiety and depression and the risk-taking behaviour of the adolescent
  • Mobility scooters and road safety
  • Mobility scooters and pedestrian safety
  • Self-awareness before driving
  • Risk factors identifiable through the Child Death Register
  • Disorder eating in adolescence
  • Situation awareness of paramedics
  • Communicating with the adolescent
  • Teen pedestrian behaviour
  • Systemic intervention for juvenile delinquency
  • Alcohol, teens, and parents
  • Adolescence, sleep and risk
  • Self-harm and the adolescent
  • Autism and the adolescent

Research grants

Project name Investigators Funding body Year Focus
Establishing safe driving practice:  Improving young learning driver training (CI) Scott-Parker, B, Senserrick T, Watson, B Australian Research Council Linkage grant (A$410,000) 2015 Developing a best practice model to enable professional driving instructors to teach higher-order skills, such as hazard perception, to young learner drivers to establish safe driving practices
State of the art literature review:  Young drivers, peer passengers, and night-time driving Scott-Parker, B  VicRoads  2015  
Development of the New Driver Education programme Scott-Parker, B New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi 2015  
Emotions, situation awareness and the risky driving behaviour of young novice drivers Scott-Parker, B National Health and Medical Research Council Research Fellowship 2014  
Engaging a high school P & C and university researchers to improve student welfare:  Sleep, health risks, and Year 12 students Scott-Parker, B, Oprescu, F & Watling, C University of the Sunshine Coast Engagement Research Support Grant 2014  
High risk young drivers Scott-Parker, B & Mahar, D Queensland Police Service 2014  
High risk young drivers Scott-Parker, B & Mahar, D Sunshine Coast Council via Transport and Main Road Community Road Safety Grants 2014  
The driving exposure of learner and provisional drivers:  Gaining unique insights for effective intervention Scott-Parker, B & Jones, C University of the Sunshine Coast Research Grant 2014  
Driving courtesy Jones, C & Scott-Parker, B RACQ 2014  
Roadhero:  Early intervention to maximise lifetime road safety Jones, C & Scott-Parker, B Queensland Police Service via Transport and Main Roads Community Road Safety Grants 2014  
Validation of the behaviour of Young Novice Drivers Scale in a New Zealand young driver population Scott-Parker, B Accident Compensation Corporation, New Zealand 2013  
Situation awareness and learning to drive:  Are parents and teens seeing the same road? Scott-Parker, B & Salmon, P University of the Sunshine Coast Research Grant 2013  
Professional driving instruction and the learner driver:  What exactly happens during a driving lesson? Scott-Parker, B University of the Sunshine Coast and Sunshine Coast Council Research Grant (A$16,296.00)    
Identification of potentially high-risk young drivers Scott-Parker, B & Watson, B VicRoads 2013 The risky behaviours of young novice drivers, including non-compliance with general and graduated-driver-licensing-specific rules, were discussed, and a sub-group of riskier drivers identified and recommendations for intervention were made. The framework of Bandura’s reciprocal determinism model was used to further elucidate personal, behavioural, and structural influences upon risky driving
Provision of advice on safer driving agreements in the Australian context Scott-Parker, B, Buckley, L, Senserrick, T & Watson, B National Research Safety Council 2012 Safer driving agreements such as used in the American Checkpoints program require parents and their novice driver children to formalise driving rules and restrictions during the earliest part of independent driving. The evidence regarding their efficacy (crash- and offence-involvement), and the potential applicability of agreements in the Australian-context, was evaluated  

Research areas

  • adolescent health and wellbeing
  • road safety
  • young drivers
  • graduated driver licensing and other interventions to improve young driver road safety including driver education and training
  • older drivers
  • safe systems in road safety
  • psychometrics, instrument development and refinement
  • anxiety and depression in adolescence
  • sensation seeking and risky behaviour in adolescence
  • parent influences upon adolescent behaviour
  • peer influences upon adolescent behaviour
  • risky adolescent behaviour
  • 'safe' risk

Teaching areas

  • Applied Social Psychology (Road Safety)
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Methodology
  • Focus Groups: Research and Analytical Methodology
  • Questionnaire Development
  • Research Ethics
  • Young Driver Road Safety and Interventions including Graduated Driver Licensing

Dr Bridie Scott-Parker’s specialist areas of knowledge include young driver road safety and the range of social, structural and personal influences upon their driving behaviour, and the health and wellbeing of adolescents more generally

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In the news

USC Newsroom
Teen passengers can learn how to avoid crashes
13 November 2019

As hundreds of Year 12 students prepare to drive with friends to Schoolies celebrations this weekend, USC has launched a world-first project to teach young passengers road safety.

USC Senior Research Fellow Dr Bridie Scott-Parker
USC to research hazard perception of senior drivers
3 January 2018

Researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast are about to begin a new study into the situation awareness and hazard perception of experienced drivers aged 60 years and over.