Brittany Johnson from the College of Nursing and Health Services is one of the seven winners of the Best HDR Student Publication Award for 2019.
In her winning paper ‘Examining Constructs of Parental Reflective Motivation towards Reducing Unhealthy Food Provision to Young Children’, Brittany Johnson with her team, for the first time comprehensively examine parents’ reflective motivation (beliefs and conscious decision making) towards reducing unhealthy foods. This is the first study in the nutrition field to explore the Health Action Process Approach model that is hypothesised to bridge the intention-behaviour gap. Use of structural equation modelling allowed examination of mediating relationships and testing of the model in its structural form, including whether the model helped to close the intention-behaviour gap.
We invited Brittany Johnson to share some insights into her PhD journey and what winning this award means to her.
“I really enjoyed my honours project and loved learning about the research process. I felt like a PhD was the natural passage to pursue a career in research and love the variety and challenges that research brings.” – Brittany said.
“I had a wonderful panel of four supervisors for my PhD. I found them all very approachable and easy to communicate with, which I feel are all important characteristics for a strong student-supervisor relationship.” Brittany met her principal supervisor when she was working in public health nutrition. She got inspired by the supervisor’s practice-based research to undertake a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Hons). Co-supervised by two other PhD supervisors, Brittany added her fourth supervisor to the team, when she started her PhD. This rounded out her panel of expert advisors.
Brittany’s advice for current or prospective PhD students is: “Choose a research area you are passionate about and connect with other PhD students. I was very fortunate to have a great research team around me; I have learnt so much from other PhD students and having a support crew kept me going.”
Brittany is very proud of pulling together four studies that made up her PhD into a coherent thesis. But she thinks that not giving up is her biggest achievement. “So much of the PhD journey is about resilience and I feel like I managed to get through most of my PhD embracing the learning curves and keeping roughly on top on my time management, including shifting some deadlines.” Brittany stated.
It’s a real honour for Brittany to have her research recognised by this award. “This study involved learning new statistics and many hours on AMOS, so it is all the sweeter.” she mentioned.
When asked about her future, Brittany replied: “I am currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Caring Futures Institute. Coming out of my PhD I hope to continue research in the area of behaviour change and social norms, as these were key areas that really took my interest during the project. I want my research to make a difference in the community.”
To view Brittany Johnson’s full publication, click here.