ACAP School of Psychological Sciences: Colloquium Series

Australia/Melbourne/Sydney 12:30pm | Thurs 27th October

Dr Fiona Ann Papps  – Senior Lecturer – ACAP
Gemma Cribb – Clinical Psychologist – Equilibrium Psychology

These lunchtime seminars offer insight into a diverse range of areas and offer you the chance to listen to the latest in research and innovation in psychology. They are presented face to face at either the ACAP Sydney campus or ACAP Melbourne campus.

This upcoming colloquium presentation will be presented by Fiona Ann Papps and Gemma Cribb in Sydney on ‘There’s a certain freedom in it’: Women doing single well in contemporary Australian Society’.


Significant negative stereotyping of single women has been common in the history of the contemporary West, with representations ranging from boozy party girls to daffy cat ladies. Indeed, significant discrimination against single women remains in the 21st century, with single elderly female households experiencing the highest incidence of poverty compared to other household types. The accounts of single women clearly focus on the negative, with little psychological research to explore what might encourage women to ‘do single’ well.

In this presentation, we report on an in-depth qualitative examination of 14 women’s lived experiences of being single (either by choice or circumstance), with a focus on the women’s accounts of what enables them to ‘do single well’. Thematic analyses revealed that the lived experience of doing single well was characterised by freedom, but financial pressure and lack of practical and emotional support. Accounts demonstrated that to ‘do single well’, women required social support from people in similar situations and a cognitive and behavioural set that allowed them to make the most of the opportunities and embrace self-acceptance. Results are used to frame recommendations for strategies that could support the health and well-being of single women.

  • For more information and details about how to attend in Sydney, add to calendar
  • For more information and details about how to attend in Melbourne, add to calendar

Dr Fiona Ann Papps 
is a Senior Lecturer in the school of Psychological Sciences at ACAP. Her teaching and research interests include gender, sexuality and their representation.
Gemma Cribb is a fully registered clinical psychologist who has worked in private practice for the last 10 years. She has a special interest in relationship and sex therapy.

[This series is organised and run by the Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP). For more information contact]