Dr Pat Bullen

PhD, BA (Hons - 1st class), BSc


Pat's research interests focus on the factors that contribute to thriving during adolescence and emerging adulthood, particularly during times of transition. She is particularly interested in how contexts impact development, including school, culture, community, poverty and family. She has engaged in research on topics such as youth health and well-being, identity, motivation, youth mentoring and service learning. Pat is also Co-Director of the therpautic youth mentoring programme Campus Connections Aotearoa. 

She is advocate of the concept of knowledge mobilisation – the process of gathering together community issues and matching these with academic resources for the purpose of promoting positive social change. As an applied social scientist she is very interested in how research findings can be used to enhance the human condition either directly or indirectly by informing policy and practice. Therefore much of her work is conducted in partnership with community groups such as schools, youth programmes, and not-for-profit organisations.

Previous professional experience:

  • Research Fellow – School of Teaching, Learning and Development, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland
  • Tutor - Faculty of Education
  • Tutor – Department of Psychology, University of Auckland
  • Tuakana Tutor – Department of Psychology, University of Auckland

Research | Current

  • Investigating the approaches of highly effective mentors
  • Campus Connections Aotearoa theraputic youth mentoring evaluation and monitoring
  • The dynamics of adult-youth mentoring partnerships
  • The Youth2000 adolescent health and wellbeing survey series
  • The effectiveness of youth mentoring programmes in New Zealand
  • The transition to secondary school study

Teaching | Current

Courses Taught

  • EDUC 200 Youth Mentoring
  • EDUC 352 Adolescence
  • SOCYOUTH 300 Theraputic Youth Mentoring
  • EDUC 747 Leadership in Youth Development


Postgraduate supervision

  • PhD ongoing Hilary Dutton, University of Auckland Doctoral Scholar, Opening up: Mentor self-disclosure in mentoring relationships with adolescents  
  • PhD ongoing Esther Yao, University of Auckland Doctoral Scholar, Cultural variability in risk and protective factors for adolescent depression and the effects of ethnicity measurement
  • PhD ongoing Yvonne Ualesi, University of Auckland Doctoral Scholar, Youth mentoring in Aotearoa: Towards a culturally responsive framework
  • PhD ongoing Kylie Tafford, Constructing women: Investigating the theories of action of career development educators when advising young women on the construction trades
  • PhD 2018 Freya Burnett, The dynamics of adult-youth mentoring partnerships
  • PhD 2014 Rachel Williams, University of Auckland Doctoral Scholar, Implementing a healthy education program in NZ secondary schools: Promoting positive student health
  • PhD 2014 Joanna Ting Wai Chu, University of Auckland Doctoral Scholar, A mixed-methods evaluation of a universal group parenting programme for parents of adolescents
  • MA 2015 Sukriti Bhatnagar, Defining conceptualisations of quality evidence for evidence-based programmes in New Zealand
  • MA 2014 Hilary Dutton, Understanding mentor-mentee relationships 
  • MA 2013 Safeya Janahi Illustrating assessment: Bahraini university students’ conception of assessment within different educational cultures
  • MA 2013 Tuqa Abduljalil Zaid Marhoon, A cross-cultural study: Talent development process in academically talented undergraduates in New Zealand and Bahrain
  • MSc 2013 Sara Meyer, University of Auckland Scholar, Help-seeking for emotional worries: An investigation with New Zealand secondary school students
  • MEd ongoing Nicola Jacobson, Mentoring conversations between secondary school students and their tutor teacher
  • MEd 2017 Theresa Manson, Exploring the relationship between positive youth development and mentoring in the Brothers In Arms programme
  • MEd 2012 Melissa Beaumont, Student perceptions of their teacher and student’s self-efficacy for achievement
  • MEd 2011 Kellie Noonan, Youth mentoring: Evaluation the effectiveness of Stars mentoring programme
  • BAHons 2015 Sonia Pope, Cultural identity as a protective factor for suicidality among Tongan secondary students
  • BAHons 2015 Hillary Dutton, School-based mentoring for change: Building a framework for practice and evaluation
  • BAHons 2014 Esther S. W. Yao, Trends and transitions for secondary school
  • BAHons 2014 Hillary Dutton, University of Auckland Scholar, Youth mentoring for change: building a framework for practice and evaluation
  • BAHons 2012 Safeya Janahi, Factors influencing international tertiary students’ adjustment and the effects of mentoring on adjustment


2016 Vodafone World of Difference Extension Partner

2015 Faculty of Education and Social Work Early Career Excellence in Teaching

2014 Vodafone World of Difference Fellow

2003 Top Achiever Doctoral Scholar, Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, Ministry of Education


  • Co-Director, Campus Connections Aotearoa
  • Past Chair and current Member of the Adolescent Health Research Group
  • Past Deputy Chair and current Member of the LRNDPP Research Committee


Areas of expertise

  • Youth mentoring
  • Adolescent development (with a focus on positive youth development)
  • Identity
  • Cultural identity
  • Gender identity
  • School/life transitions
  • Service learning

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Community service:

  • Evaluation & Research Partner/Consultant, Brothers In Arms, Auckland
  • Achieving @ Waitakere Evaluation Working Group member
  • Advisor, New Zealand Youth Mentoring Network
  • Partner/Consultant for Guide to Effective Mentoring Development, New Zealand Youth Mentoring Network
  • Evaluation & Research Partner/Consultant, YWCA, Auckland
  • Evaluation & Research Partner/Consultant, Great Potentials Foundation, Auckland
  • Evaluation & Research Partner/Consultant to the Foundation for Youth Development, Auckland

Professional memberships:

  • International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development (ISSBD)
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA)
  • Society of Youth Health Professionals Aotearoa New Zealand (SYHPANZ) 
  • Ara Taiohi
  • Society for Community Research and Action (SCRS)
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 1, Room 114
New Zealand

Web links