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Prof. Stefano Occhipinti

Prof. Stefano Occhipinti


Research Overview

I research health and communication in sociocultural contexts. I focus on how people perceive and talk about health conditions and those who live with them, especially in relation to stigma. Much of my work has involved samples of people with cancers (such as prostate, lung, and breast cancer), whose reasoning and decision making about health are often linked to perceptions, metaphors and social and cultural norms. I am increasingly interested in how those in the community, who may not be living with a health condition, construct and communicate about their understandings of health conditions. I specialise in the application of social psychological theory, qualitative approaches, and innovative quantitative analytic techniques to address complementary research questions. My work is translational and transformational and is directed towards improving the lives of people living with health conditions.

Some of the areas I have worked in include: masculinity and chronic illness; adjustment after robotic prostatectomy; moral influences on stigma in lung cancer; and beliefs about the natural. I always welcome chances to collaborate with researchers whose skills and interests are complementary to mine. I am currently working on cultural models of health stigma and general stigma in continuation of work that I have been undertaking in Hong Kong, Australia, the Philippines, and Malaysia.

My work has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia), the Australian Research Council, the Cancer Council Queensland, and Cancer Australia, among others, and has been published in journals such as Health Psychology, Lancet, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Journal of Thoracic Oncology (editors’ choice paper). I have been a member of the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists since 1995 and was its Treasurer from 2015 to 2022. I have been a member of International Association for Language and Social Psychology since 2018 and the Asian Association for Social Psychology since 2019.

Education and Academic Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND

Teaching Areas

  • Health Communication
  • Stigma
  • Psycho-oncology
  • Research Methods
  • Practical English Communication

Research Interests

  • Stigma
  • Chronic illness
  • Psycho-oncology
  • Disgust
  • Culture
  • Attitudes and communication about the natural

Research Output

Davis, M., Oaten, M., Tapp, C., & Occhipinti, S. (2022). Development and psychometric evaluation of the Aversion to Bowel Cancer Screening Scale. European Journal of Cancer Care.

Oaten, M., Stevenson, R. J., Occhipinti, S., Tapp, C., & Case, T. I. (2022). The Factorial Structure of Stigma and Its Targets. Social Psychology, 53(2), 96–106.

Occhipinti, S., Laurie, K., Hyde, M. K., Martin, S., Oliffe, J., Wittert, G., & Chambers, S. K. (2019). Measuring Masculinity in Men with Chronic Disease. American Journal of Men’s Health, 13(4), 1-7. (Q1; IF = 1.605; citations = 15)

Occhipinti, S., Zajdlewicz, L.A., Coughlin, G. D., Yaxley, J. W., Dunglison, N., Gardiner, R.A.,  & Chambers, S. K. (2019) Prospective Study of Psychological Distress after Prostate Cancer Surgery. Psycho-oncology, 28, 2389-2395. (Q1; IF = 3.455; citations = 14)

Occhipinti, S., Dunn, J., O’Connell, D.L., Garvey, G., Valery, P.C., Ball, D., Fong, K.M., Vinod, S., Chambers, S.K. (2018).  Lung Cancer Stigma Across the Social Network: Patients’ and Caregivers’ Perspectives. Journal of Thoracic Oncology, 13(10):1443-1453. (Q1; IF = 13.357; citations = 24)

Tapp, C., & Occhipinti, S. (2016). The essence of crime: Contagious transmission from those who have committed moral transgressions. The British Journal of Social Psychology, 55(4), 756–772. (Q1; IF = 6.920; citations = 15)

Yaxley, J. W., Coughlin, G. D., Chambers, S. K., Occhipinti, S., Samaratunga, H., Zajdlewicz, L., Dunglison , N., Carter, R., Williams, S., Payton, D.J., Perry-Keene, J., Lavin, M.F., Gardiner, R.A. (2016). Robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy versus open radical retropubic prostatectomy: early outcomes from a randomised controlled phase 3 study. The Lancet, 388(10049), 1057-1066. (Q1; IF = 60.392; citations = 603)

Occhipinti, S., Chambers, S. K., Lepore, S., Aitken, J., & Dunn, J. (2015). A Longitudinal Study of Post-Traumatic Growth and Psychological Distress in Colorectal Cancer Survivors. PLoS ONE, 10(9), e0139119. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0139119 (Q1; IF = 2.740; citations = 39)

McDowell, M. E., Occhipinti, S., & Chambers, S. K. (2013). The influence of family history on cognitive heuristics, risk perceptions, and prostate cancer screening behavior. Health Psychology, 32(11), 1158-1169. doi:10.1037/a0031622 (Q1; IF = 4.416; citations = 37)

Chambers, S. K., Dunn, J., Occhipinti, S., Hughes, S., Baade, P., Sinclair, S., Aitken, J., Youl, P., & O'Connell, D. L. (2012). A systematic review of the impact of stigma and nihilism on lung cancer outcomes. BMC Cancer, 12. doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-184 (Q2; IF = 3.432; citations = 239)

Esteem Measures

  • Adjunct Professor, Griffith University
  • Registered Psychologist, Australia
  • Member of Society of Australasian Social Psychologists
  • Member of International Association for Language and Social Psychology
  • Member of Asian Association for Social Psychology
  • 2017 Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award for Psycho-Oncology Research Group

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