I am an Epidemiologist working to identify early life exposures which lead to perturbed neurodevelopmental outcomes in adolescents and young adults. I have utilised a number of high-quality longitudinal cohorts following the development of children and young people across time, and am undertaking a Masters of Biostatistics to increase my capacity in longitudinal statistical methodologies. I am currently refocusing my research from the analysis of purposively collected survey data to administrative health data, and upskilling in the statistical and computational methods required to analyse ‘Big Data’. I coordinate a project with the assistance of Queensland Health which follows the health and development of all QLD offspring since 2009 (approximately 500,000 offspring) by linking appropriate health administrative data collections. I have recently been awarded the UQ Development Fellowship at the Institute for Social Science Research, and much of my work in this position will concern the utilisation of this cohort to answer substantive research questions and its further enrichment with information from additional data collections.

Research Interests

Mental health, epidemiology, biostatistics, structural equation modelling, mixture modelling, longitudinal data analysis, neurodevelopmental outcomes and pathways, factor structure of mental health symptoms. 

PhD Thesis

Psychiatric Epidemiology

  • Publications


    1. Betts, K., Baker, P., Alati, R., McIntosh, J., Macdonald, J., Letcher, P. & Olsson, C. (2016). The natural history of internalizing behaviours from adolescence to emerging adulthood: findings from the Australian Temperament Project. Psychological Medicine, 46(13):2815-27.


    1. Betts, K. S., Chan, G., McIlwraith, F., Dietze, P., Whittaker, E., Burns, L. & Alati, R. (2016). Differences in polysubstance use patterns and drug-related outcomes between people who inject drugs receiving and not receiving opioid substitution therapies. Addiction, Jul;111(7):1214-23.


    1. Betts, K. S., Williams, G. M., Najman, J. M. & Alati, R. (2015). Predicting spectrums of adult mania, psychosis and depression by prospectively ascertained childhood neurodevelopment. Journal of Psychiatric Research, Jan;72:22-9.


    1. Betts, K. S., Salom, C. L., Williams, G. M., Najman, J. M. & Alati, R. (2015). Associations between self-reported symptoms of prenatal maternal infection and post-traumatic stress disorder in offspring: Evidence from a prospective birth cohort study. Journal of Affective Disorders, Apr 1;175:241-7.


    1. Betts, K. S., McIlwraith, F., Dietze, P., Whittaker, E., Burns, L., Cogger, S., & Alati, R. (2015). Can differences in the type, nature or amount of polysubstance use explain the increased risk of non-fatal overdose among psychologically distressed people who inject drugs? Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Sep 1;154:76-84.


    1. Betts KS, Williams GM, Najman JM, Scott J, Alati R. (2014). Maternal prenatal infection, early susceptibility to illness and adult psychotic symptoms: a birth cohort study. Schizophrenia Research, Jul;156(2-3):161-7.


    1. Alati, R., Betts, K. S., Williams, G. M., Najman, J. M. & Hall, W. D. (2014). Generational Increase in Young Women’s Drinking: A Prospective Analysis of Mother-Daughter Dyads. JAMA psychiatry 71, 952-957.


    1. Betts, K. S., Williams, G. M., Najman, J. M. & Alati, R. (2014). Maternal depressive, anxious, and stress symptoms during pregnancy predict internalizing problems in adolescence. Depression and anxiety 31, 9-18.


    1. Betts KS, Williams GM, Najman JM, Bor W, Alati R. Pre-trauma verbal ability at five years of age and the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder in adult males and females. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 2012;46(7):933-9.

    Book Chapters

    1. Betts, K. S., Williams, G. & Alati, R. (2016). The importance of comorbidity to suicide risk in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders. In Comprehensive Guide to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (ed. C. Martin, V. R. Preedy and V. B. Patel). Springer Reference: London. 

Staff Details

+61 7 334 58247

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (UQ Development Fellowship)

  • BEd
  • MPH
  • PhD