Dr Tam Cai Lian

Contact Details

Tel: +603 5514 4974
Fax: +603 5514 6323
Office: room 3-2-12
Email: tam.cai.lian@monash.edu

Profile Summary

Dr.Tam Cai Lian is the Associate Professor of the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia. She is a counselling psychologist and a registered counsellor from the Board of Counsellors Malaysia.

Dr. Tam has special interest in the variety of challenges facing adolescents in modern Malaysia. She has particular emphasis on the special areas which include contributory factors of drug abuse and the effects of counselling on mental health and wellbeing among the multi ethnic groups. Currently, Dr. Tam is the Director for Master of Professional Counselling, Monash University Malaysia. She has involved actively in conducting research and supervising PhD students.

Her expertise has across the broad domain of mental health and counselling research, specifically in two core areas:
i) Improve quality of life and diabetes management in the Malaysia community and
ii) Investigate the contributory factors in drug relapse including mental health issues


Units taught in Monash University Malaysia (2010 till present)

  • Developmental and Biological Psychology
  • Research Design and Analysis
  • Organisational Psychology
  • Cognitive and Social Psychology
  • Perception and Personality
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Counselling Practice and Theory
  • Children and Adolescent Counselling
  • Counselling skills: Individuals and Couples



Ph.D (Psychology), UKM; M.A. (Counselling Psychology), UKM; BSc (Hons) Mathematics, UKM

Registered and Licensed Counsellor, Board of Counsellors Malaysia

Research Interest

  • Investigating health knowledge, beliefs, and lifestyle among sociocultural groups in Malaysia
  • The effects of online counselling on students mental health and well being
  • Understanding the role of emotion regulation in adolescent self-injury
  • Youth drug abuse: Parental role and peer Influence

Research supervision

  • A mixed method study of drug abuse relapse in Malaysia: Contributory factors and treatment effective (Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) & My PhD Scholarship-Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia)
  • Slowing the spread of diabetes in Malaysia: Investigating health knowledge, beliefs, lifestyle and prevention programs (Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) & My PhD Scholarship-Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia)
  • The effects of online counselling on students mental health and well being
  • Understanding the role of emotion regulation in adolescent self-injury



Tam, C. L. (2017). Towards a Better Drug Abuse Treatment and Evaluation in CLMV Countries. In Wang, C. D., Building Bridges and Investing in People, The Success of Strategic Partnerships and Alliances between Malaysia and CLMV Countries, (pp. 110-114). National Higher Education Research Institute.

Yeoh, S. H., Tam, C. L., Bonn, G., Wong, C. P. (2017). Examining Depressive Symptoms and their Predictors in Malaysia: Stress, Locus of Control, and Occupation. Frontier Psychology 5(1328)

Tam, C.L., Bonn, G., Yeoh, S. H., Wong, C. P., & Yap, C. C. (2016). Physical Activity and its Correlates among Adults in Malaysia: A Cross-Sectional Descriptive Study. PLOS ONE

Chie, Q. T., Tam, C. L., Bonn, G & Dang, H.M., & Khairuddin, R. (2016). Substance Abuse, Relapse, and Treatment Program Evaluation in Malaysia: Perspective of Rehab Patients and Staff Using the Mixed Method Approach. Frontiers in Psychiatry, addictive disorders. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2016.00090

Bonn, G., Tam, C. L. (2016). Imagining a good life in Malaysia and China: Cultural beliefs among Mainland Chinese, Malaysian Chinese, and Malay University students. Asian Journal of Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/ajsp.12120

Tay,E. L.,  Lee,W.H.,  Jamaluddin,S. F.,  Tam, C. L.,  & Wong, C. P. (2016). The epidemiology of childhood brain injury in the state of Selangor and Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. BMC Pediatrics.doi:10.1186/s12887-016-0590-1

Lee, S. L., Tam, C. L., Song, B. K., Neik, T.X. (2015). The mediating role of depressive symptom severity in the relationship between Obsessive-compulsive disorder and Quality of Life. Asian Social Science. 11(1), 97-102.

Yap, C. C., Tam, C. L., Saravanan, M. & Amudha, K. (2015). Personal Attributions, Emotion Management, Interpersonal Relationship, and Diabetes Knowledge in Diabetes Self-care Adherence. International Journal of Collaborative Research on Internal Medicine & Public Health (IJCRIMPH).7(6), 104-120.

Chie, Q. T., Tam, C. L., Bonn, G & Wong, C.P. (2015). Drug abuse, relapse and prevention education in Malaysia: perspective of university students through a mixed methods approach. Frontiers in Psychiatry, section Addictive Disorders and Behavioral Dyscontrol.

Lee, S. L., Park, M.S-A. & Tam, C. L. (2015). The relationship between Facebook attachment and obsessive-compulsive disorder severity. Cyberpsychology, Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 9(2), Article 1. doi: 10.5817/CP2015-2-6.

C.C.Yap, C.L.Tam, G.B. Bonn, M. Saravanan & A. Kadirvelu (2014). Psychosocial variables influencing diabetes self-management and quality of life: A pilot study. Recent Trends in Social Behaviour Sciences-Lumbun Gaol et.al (EdS). Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN978-1-138-00121-3. 319-325

Lian, S.Y, Tam, C. L. (2014). Literature Review of Work Stress, Coping Strategies and Resilience of Working Female Malaysia Population. Asian Social Science; 10(12), 41-52; 2014