Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāti Kauwhata, Waikato A mother of one, Ainsleigh has grown up and was schooled for much of her life in South Auckland. During her studies, she has worked for and with many community organisations in the Counties Manukau region. Ainsleigh graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the University of Auckland in 2000 and immediately commenced her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology. Her research was supervised by Dr. Suzanne Barker-Collo and Associate Professor Fred Seymour and involved investigation of the cross-cultural appropriateness of neuropsychological assessments for Māori.
The aim of her doctoral research was to examine the relationships between ethnicity, agreement with Eurocentric values, and familiarity with Māori culture and the relative impact of these on neuropsychological test performance of Māori. Participants were individually administered a series of neuropsychological tests, some found to elicit differences in performance in relation to Māori. Results identified no significant differences between Māori and Pākehā on the Eurocentric values although there was a significant difference between Māori and Pākehā samples on a Māori Knowledge Test (MKT). There were no significant correlations between performance on the MKT and performance on the neuropsychological assessments. However, there were significant correlations between the level of agreement with Eurocentric values and some assessments of immediate verbal recall memory and oral word fluency. Education level was observed to have significant influence on test performance for Māori as was the values entrenched within those educational settings.
Now a registered Clinical Psychologist the main focus of Ainsleigh’s clinical work is with Māori young people and whānau. She hopes to extend her research area of clinical neuropsychology in to her work with children and youth.