Dr Ma Regina (Ria) de Gracia

Position: Lecturer
Discipline: Psychology
Location Gippsland Campus, Room 1E122
Phone: (03) 5122 6017
Email: r.degracia@federation.edu.au


Doctor of Philosophy – University of Sydney – 2017

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education – University of Nottingham – 2011

Master of Arts (Counselling Psychology) – Boston College – 2002

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology – Ateneo de Manila University – 1997



  • Bachelor of Psychological Science
  • Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours)


  • Counselling Theory and Practice (PSYCB 2105/BEHAV 3004)
  • Lifespan Human Development (BEHAV 2001)
  • Abnormal Psychology (PSYCB 3012)
  • Psychological Testing and Assessment (PSYCB 3101)
  • Psychological Practice (PSYCP 6001)


Ria is a registered psychologist working as a lecturer and researcher in the Institute of Health and Wellbeing. Ria joined Federation University Australia (FedUni) in 2018. Before FedUni, Ria worked as a tutor at the Psychology Department at the University of Sydney while she was completing her PhD.  Ria has also worked at the University of Nottingham – Malaysia campus where she was an assistant professor in the Institute of Work, Health, and Organisation and various universities in the Philippines. She is a member of the Australian Psychological Society, a fellow with the UK Higher Education Academy, and lifetime member of the Psi Chi – Boston College chapter, US national honor society in psychology. She is currently part of the pioneering batch of the Emerging Leaders Program of the Australian Psychological Society.

Areas of expertise

Ria is an early career researcher working across a variety of areas. During and after he PhD, she worked mostly in the area of social cognition among deaf individuals. More recently, she has been doing work in the area of physical and psychological wellbeing.

(1) Deaf studies

Ria’s research into the social cognition examines the development of theory of mind and emotion understanding in children, adolescents, and adult deaf individuals in the Philippines. In particular, she looks at how growing up in hearing households impacts their development of social cognitive skills.

(2) Physical and psychological wellbeing

As a practicing psychologist, Ria has a particular interest in psychological wellbeing. This includes examining predictors and outcomes of psychological wellbeing. More specifically, Ria is interested in examining the interplay between interpersonal experiences such as sexual and self-objectification and mental health on psychological wellbeing. Ria is also interested in predictors of physical wellbeing.

Research interests

  • Social cognition
  • Theory of Mind
  • Emotion Understanding
  • Psychological wellbeing
  • Physical wellbeing


New 4th year students are to be assigned.


Refereed journal articles

Casey, M., Dabkowski, E., de Gracia, M. R. L., Nasstasia, N., Porter, J. Kennedy, G. A., Moore, K. A., Alvarenga, M. (2024). Socioecological factors influencing physical activity engagement for women across the menopausal transition: A systematic review. Menopause. (forthcoming)

Valencia, M.N., & de Gracia, M.R.L. (2022). The moderating role of organizational identification in the relationship between job demands and burnout. Journal of Stress, Trauma, Anxiety, & Resilience, 1 (2). https://journal.star-society.org/index.php/j-star/article/view/17

de Gracia, M. R. L., de Rosnay, M., Hawes, D. J., & Perez, M. V. T. (2021). Differences in emotion knowledge among Filipino deaf children, adolescents, and young adults. Personality and Individual Differences, 180, 110967. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2021.110967
H index: 181

Van Doorn, G., Dye, J., & de Gracia, M. R. (2021). Daddy issues: Friends rather than fathers influence adult men's hegemonic masculinity. Personality and Individual Differences, 171, 110467. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2020.110467
H index: 181

de Gracia, M. R. L., de Rosnay, M., Hawes, D., & Perez, M.V.T. (2020). Deafness and theory of mind performance: Associations among Filipino children, adolescents, and young adults. Journal of Cognition and Development, 21 (3), 326-347. https://doi.org/10.1080/15248372.2020.1741364
H index: 47

de Gracia, M. R. L., Peterson, C. C., & de Rosnay, M. (2016). A cultural conundrum: Delayed false belief understanding in Filipino children. Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, 47 (7), 929-940. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022116655790
H index: 88


  • Australian Psychological Society – 2018 to present