Valerie Sotardi

Senior LecturerDr Valerie Sotardi

Rehua 420
"The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting." (Plutarch, On Listening to Lectures)

Research Interests

My research interests focus on motivation and stress management in young people.

I am particularly interested in:
(a) identifying diverse settings in which young people experience stress and anxiety;
(b) evaluating how these experiences affect the attitudes, self-perceptions, and well-being of young people; and
(c) designing evidence-based coping strategies to help young people effectively manage stress and anxiety.

I consider myself a multidisciplinary researcher. My formal training is in educational psychology, but I also extend my scholarship to other disciplines such as sociology, law, geography, philosophy, and public policy. I adopt a wide range of methodological approaches, including mixed-method studies.

Broadly, I seek to conduct applied research that contributes positively to youth in society.

Please contact me at with any queries.

Recent Publications

  • Dutton H. and Sotardi V. (2023) The impact of student self-disclosure on the stress and wellbeing of tertiary educators during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Further and Higher Education
  • Sotardi V. (2022) On Institutional Belongingness and Academic Performance: Mediating Effects of Social Self-Efficacy and Metacognitive Strategies. Studies in Higher Education
  • Sotardi V. and Dutton H. (2022) First-Year University Students' Authentic Experiences with Evaluation Anxiety and their Attitudes toward Assessment. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
  • Sotardi V., Taylor L., Brogt E., Cheer U. and Baird N. (2022) Influences on students’ interest in a legal career, satisfaction with law school, & psychological distress: trends in New Zealand. Law Teacher 56(1): 67-89.
  • Sotardi VA., Surtees N., Vincent K. and Johnston H. (2022) Belonging and adjustment for LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ students during the social transition to university.. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education 15(6): 755-765.