Christa Lam-Cassettari is a Senior Research Associate in the School of Psychiatry, UNSW, Academic Unit of Child Psychiatry South West Sydney (AUCS), and Clinical Trial Coordinator for an NHMRC funded partnerships project awarded to Professor Valsamma Eapen and colleagues entitled Watch Me Grow Integrated Approach – WMG-I: Changing practice to improve universal child health and developmental surveillance in the primary care setting. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness and economic cost of the Watch Me Grow – Integrated (WMG-I) intervention and to explore stakeholder and community requirements of child developmental checks in the preschool years.
Previous roles include a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Nottingham/NIHR Biomedical Research Unit conducting a Phase 1 Randomised Control Trial investigating the effect of a video-feedback intervention on parent–child communication in the context of congenital child hearing loss; a Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation funded Research Fellowship at Western Sydney University, The MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development BabyLab examining the relationship between vocal emotion in parents' infant-directed speech and early word learning in Sweden and Australia. Christa was the interim Academic Leader BabyLab 2018-2020. Research interests include: quantitative and qualitative differences in infant-directed speech (IDS) input and the role of IDS in supporting early language, emotional availability and social-emotional development in children from 0-5 years of age; similarities and differences in emotional expression and parent-child interactions with mothers and fathers; the effect of postnatal depression on parent-child communication; and the role of family centred early interventions in improving child outcomes. Lam-Cassettari obtained her PhD examining the influence of infant hearing loss on mother-infant interaction: Implications for infant-directed speech, infant responsiveness and vocabulary development. She holds an Adjunct Fellowship at The MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development.