Associate Professor Shian-Ling Keng

Associate Professor

Tel: +603 5514 5612
Office: Room 4-4-09

Profile Summary

Dr Shian-Ling Keng is Associate Professor and Research Coordinator in the Department of Psychology at Monash University Malaysia. She is trained as a clinical psychologist, and her research focuses on the effects and mechanisms through which mindfulness-based interventions affect psychological and physical health. She is also interested in examining cross-cultural presentations of psychological disorders (e.g., borderline personality disorder) and dissemination of evidence-based interventions in Southeast Asia. Dr Keng received her research and clinical training in the United States, and completed her clinical psychology residency at the Borderline Personality Disorder Clinic and Mood Disorders Clinic at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto, Canada. Prior to joining Monash University Malaysia, she was a tenured associate professor at the Division of Psychology at Yale-NUS College (2017–2021) and an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the National University of Singapore (2013–2017).

Clinically, Dr Keng has received training in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and mindfulness-based intervention approaches, such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Dr Keng has worked in hospital and clinic settings with patients of a variety of diagnoses, including mood, anxiety, substance use, and personality disorders. She aspires to help improve the quality and accessibility of mental health services in Southeast Asia through teaching, research, advocacy, and community outreach.

Academic Qualifications

B.Sc. (Psychology and Biology; Graduation with Distinction in Psychology), Duke University, USA

M.A. (Psychology), Duke University, USA

Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology), Duke University, USA

Professional Affiliations

Member, Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology

Member, Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (USA)

Life Member, Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology (USA)

Research Interests

  • Effects of mindfulness-based interventions on psychological health
  • Mindfulness and biological aging
  • Association between trait mindfulness, self-compassion, and psychological health
  • Cross-cultural presentations of psychological disorders (particularly borderline personality disorder)
  • Dissemination of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) in the Southeast Asian context
  • Behavioral and health correlates of the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., PsyCorona Study)


Book Chapters

Keng, S.-L. (2017).Use of mindfulness in promoting treatment engagement. In William O'Donohue, Larry James, & Cassandra Snipes (Ed.). Practical Strategies and Tools to Promote Treatment Engagement (pp. 75-90). Cham: Springer Publishing.

Tan, S. Y.,& Keng, S.-L. (2019). Application of mindfulness-based approaches in the context of social work. In Rosalind Ow & Abner Poon (Ed.). Social Work and Mental Health. Singapore: Springer.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Keng, S.-L. & Hwang, E. Z. N. (in press, 2022). Self-compassion as a moderator of the association between COVID-19 stressors and psychological symptoms: A longitudinal study. Behaviour Change.

Keng, S.-L., Mohd Salleh Sahimi, H., Chan, L. F., Woon, L., Eu, C. L., Sim, S. H., & Wong, M. K. (2021). Implementation of a dialectical behavior therapy skills group among borderline personality disorder patients in Malaysia: Feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary outcomes. BMC Psychiatry, 21:486.

Lee, S. S. M., Keng, S.-L., Yeo, G. C., & Hong, R. Y. S. (in press, 2021). Parental invalidation and its associations with borderline personality disorder symptoms: A multivariate meta-analysis. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment.

Schutte, N. S., Keng, S.-L., & Cheung, M. W.-L. (in press, 2o21). Emotional intelligence mediates the connection between mindfulness and gratitude: A meta-analytic structural equation modelling study. Mindfulness.

Lee, S. S. M., Keng, S.-L., & Hong, R. Y. S. (in press, 2021). Intergenerational transmission of parental invalidation: Extension of the biosocial model. Development and Psychopathology.

Keng, S.-L., Tong, E. M. W., Tan, E. L. Y., Ebstein, R. P., & Lai, P. S. (in press, 2021). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on affect dynamics: A randomized controlled trial. Mindfulness.

Lucas, T., Manning, M., Strelan, P., Kopetz, C., … Keng, S.-L. … & Leander, N. P. (in press, 2021). Justice beliefs and cultural values predict support for COVID-19 vaccination and quarantine behavioral mandates: a multilevel cross-national study. Translational Behavioral Medicine. (PsyCorona Research Collaboration)

Stroebe, W., vanDellen, M., Abakoumkin, A., Lemay, E., … Keng, S.-L. … & Leander, N. P. (in press, 2021). Politicization of COVID-19 health-protective behaviors in the United States: Longitudinal and cross-national evidence. PLOS One. (PsyCorona Research Collaboration)

Lemay, E., Kruglanski, A. W., Molinario, E., Agostini, M., … Keng, S.-L. … & Leander, N. P. (in press, 2021). The role of values in coping with health and economic threats of COVID-19. Journal of Social Psychology. (PsyCorona Research Collaboration)

van Breen, J. A., Kutlaca, M., Koç3, Y., Jeronimus, B.F., … Keng, S.-L. … & Leander, N. P. (in press, 2021). Lockdown Lives: A longitudinal study of inter-relationships amongst feelings of loneliness, social contacts and solidarity during the COVID-19 lockdown in early 2020. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. (PsyCorona Research Collaboration)

Schumpe, B. M., Van Lissa, C., Bélanger, J. J., Ruggeri, K., … Keng, S.-L. … & Leander, N. P. (in press, 2021).  Predictors of adherence to public health behaviors for fighting COVID-19 derived from longitudinal data. Scientific Reports. (PsyCorona Research Collaboration)

Mula, S.,Di Santo D., Resta, E., Bakhtiari, F., Baldner, C., … Keng, S.-L. … & Leander, N. P. (in press, 2021).  Concern with COVID-19 pandemic threat and attitudes towards immigrants: The mediating effect of the desire for tightness. Current Research in Ecological and Social Psychology. (PsyCorona Research Collaboration)

Resta, E., Mula, S., Baldner, C., Di Santo, D., … Keng, S.-L., … & Leander, N. P. (in press, 2021). We’re all in the same boat: How societal discontent affects helping behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic.Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology. (PsyCorona Research Collaboration)

Nisa, C. F., Belanger, J. J., Faller, D. G., Buttrick, N. R., … Keng, S.-L. … & Leander, N. P. (in press, 2021). Perceived economic risk (vs. health risk) motivates individual efforts to fight COVID‑19: a multilevel analysis in 24 countries. Scientific Reports. (PsyCorona Research Collaboration)

Han, Q, Zheng, B., Cristea, A., Agostini, M., … Keng, S.-L. … & Leander, N. P. (in press, 2021). Trust in government regarding COVID-19 and its associations with preventive health behaviour and prosocial behaviour during the pandemic: a cross-sectional and longitudinal study. Psychological Medicine. (PsyCorona Research Collaboration)

Han, Q., Zheng, B., Agostini, M., Belanger, J. J., … Keng, S.-L. … & Leander, N. P. (in press, 2021). Associations of risk perception of COVID-19 with emotion and mental health during the pandemic. Journal of Affective Disorders.(PsyCorona Research Collaboration)

Enea, V., Eisenbeck, N., Carreño, D., Douglas, K.M., … Keng, S.-L. … & Leander, N. P. (in press, 2021). Intentions to be vaccinated against COVID-19: The role of prosociality and conspiracy beliefs across 20 countries. Health Communication. (PsyCorona Research Collaboration)

Romano, A., Spadaro, G., Balliet, D., Joireman, J., … Keng, S.-L. … & Leander, N. P. (in press, 2020). Cooperation and trust Across societies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.(PsyCorona Research Collaboration)

Jin, S., Balliet, D., Romano, A., Spadaro, G., … Keng, S.-L. … & Leander, N. P. (in press, 2020). Intergenerational conflicts of interest and prosocial behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic. Personality and Individual Differences. (PsyCorona Research Collaboration)

Kreienkamp, J., Agostini, M., Krause, J., Leander, N. P. … Keng. S. -L. …. (2020). Psycorona: A world of reactions to COVID-19. APS Observer, 33(9). (PsyCorona Research Collaboration)

Loo, J. L., Keng. S. -L., Ramírez-Espinosa, I. G., Ramírez-Gutiérrez, J. A., Nor Hadi, N. M., & Shoesmith, W. D. (2020). Dialectical behavior therapy in the Asia-Pacific Rim region. Asia-Pacific Psychiatry, e12437, 1-6.

Keng. S. -L., Looi, P. S., *Tan, E. L. Y., Yim, O.-S., Lai, P. S., Chew, S. H., & Ebstein, R. (2020). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on psychological symptoms and telomere length: A randomized active-controlled trial. Behavior Therapy, 51, 984-996.

Leander, N. P., Lemay, E. P., Jeronimus, B. F., … Keng. S. -L. … (2020). Towards a globally collaborative behavioral science: An organizational approach from pandemic psychology. International Journal of Behavioral Development. 2. (PsyCorona Research Collaboration)

Schutte, N., Malouff, J. M., & Keng, S.-L. (2020). Meditation and telomere length: A meta-analysis. Psychology and Health, 35, 901-915.

Wong, M. H. M., Keng, S.-L., Buck, P. J., Suthendran, S., Wessels, A., & Østbye, T. (2020). Effects of mental health paraprofessional training for Filipina foreign domestic workers in Singapore. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 22(3), 571-579.

Keng, S. -L., Lee, C. S. L., & Eisenlohr-Moul, T. A. (2019). Effects of brief daily mindfulness practices on affective outcomes and correlates in a high BPD trait sample. Psychiatry Research, 280(112485), 1-7.

Keng. S. -L., Yim, O.-S., Lai, P. S., Chew, S. H., & Ebstein, R. (2019). Association among dispositional mindfulness, self-compassion, and leukocyte telomere length in Chinese adults. BMC Psychology, 7(47), 1-10.

Keng, S. -L. & Ang, Q.(2019).Effects of mindfulness on negative affect, body dissatisfaction, and disordered-eating urges in a college sample at risk of developing eating disorders. Mindfulness, 10, 1779-1791.

Keng, S.-L., Noorahman, N. B., *Drabu, S., & Chu, C. M. (2019). Association between betrayal trauma and nonsuicidal self-injury among adolescent offenders: Shame and emotion dysregulation as mediating factors. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 18(4), 293-304.

Keng, S.-L. & Tan, H. H. (2018).  Effects of brief mindfulness and loving-kindness meditation inductions on emotional and behavioral responses to social rejection among individuals with high borderline personality traits. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 100, 44-53.

Keng, S.-L., Choo, X., & Tong, E. M .W. (2018). Association between trait mindfulness and variability of coping strategies:  A diary study. Mindfulness, 9, 1423-1432.

Keng, S.-L., Lee, Y., *Drabu, S., Hong, R. Y., Chee, C. Y. I., Ho, C. S. H., & Ho, R. C. M. (2018). Construct validity of the McLean Screening Instrument for borderline personality disorder in two Singaporean samples. Journal of Personality Disorders, 32, 1-20.

Keng, S. -L. & Soh, C. Y. (2018) Association between childhood invalidation and borderline personality symptoms: Self-construal and conformity as moderating factors. Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation, 5(19), 1-9.

Ronningstam, E. F., Keng, S.-L., Ridolfi, M. E., Arbabi, M., & Grenyer, B. F. S. (2018). Cultural aspects in symptomatology, assessment and treatment of personality disorders. Current Psychiatry Reports, 20(22), 1-10.

Keng, S.-L. & Tan, J. X. (2017) Effects of brief mindful breathing and loving-kindness meditation on shame and social problem solving abilities among individuals with high borderline personality traits. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 97, 43-51.

Keng, S.-L. & Wong, Y. Y. (2017). Association among self-compassion, childhood invalidation, and borderline personality disorder symptomatology in a Singaporean sample. Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation, 4(24), 1-8.

Keng, S.-L., Tan, E. L. Y., Eisenlohr-Moul, T., & Smoski, M. J. (2017). Effects of mindfulness, reappraisal, and suppression on sad mood and cognitive resources. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 91, 33-42.

Neacsiu, A., Jeremy, E., Keng, S.-L., Fang, C., & Rosenthal, Z. (2017). Borderline personality disorder, emotion regulation, and culture: Issues, findings, and research agenda for assessment, prevalence, psychopathology, and treatment. Current Psychiatry Reviews, 13(3), 188-223.

Tong, E.M.W. & Keng, S.-L. (2017). The relationship between mindfulness and negative emotion differentiation: A test of multiple mediation pathways. Mindfulness, 8, 933-942.

Keng, S.-L. & *Liew, K. W. L. (2017). Trait mindfulness and self-compassion as moderators of the association between gender nonconformity and psychological health. Mindfulness, 8, 615-626.

Keng, S.-L. & Tong, E.M.W. (2016). Riding the tide of emotions with mindfulness: Mindfulness, affect dynamics, and the mediating role of coping.Emotion, 16, 706-718.

Keng, S.-L., *Seah, T. H. S.,Tong, E.M.W. & Smoski, M. J. (2016). Effects of brief mindful acceptance induction on implicit dysfunctional attitudes and concordance between implicit and explicit dysfunctional attitudes.Behaviour Research and Therapy, 83, 1-10.

Keng, S.-L., Waddington, E., *Lin, B. X. T., *Tan, M. S. Q., Henn-Haase, C., & Kanter, J. W. (2016). Effects of Functional Analytic Psychotherapy on therapist trainees in Singapore: A randomized controlled trial. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 24(4), 1014-1027.

Keng, S.-L., Smoski, M. J., & Robins, C. J. (2016). Effects of mindful acceptance and reappraisal training on maladaptive beliefs about rumination. Mindfulness, 7, 493-503.

Smoski, M.J., Keng, S.-L., Ji, J.L., Moore, T., Minkel, J. & Dichter, G.S. (2015). Neural indicators of emotion regulation via acceptance versus reappraisal in remitted major depressive disorder. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 10, 1187-1194.

Keng, S.-L., Phang, C.K., & Oei, T.P.S. (2015). Effects of a brief mindfulness-based training program on psychological symptoms and well-being among medical students in Malaysia: A controlled study. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 8, 335-350.

Phang, C.K., Chiang, K. C., Ng, L. O., Keng, S.-L., & Oei, T. P. (2015). Effects of brief group mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for stress reduction among medical students in a Malaysian university.Mindfulness, 7(1), 189-197.

Phang, C.K., Mukhtar, F., Ibrahim, N., Keng, S.-L., & Sidik, S. M. (2015). Effect of DVD-delivered mindfulness-based program for stress reduction in medical students. Education in Medicine Journal, 7, 8-20.

Phang, C. K., Mukhtar, F., Ibrahim, N., Keng, S.-L., & Mohd. Sidik, S. (2015). Effects of a brief mindfulness-based intervention program for stress management among medical students: the Mindful-Gym randomized controlled study. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 20, 1115-1134.

Phang, C.K., Keng, S.-L., & Chiang, K.C. (2014). Mindful-S.T.O.P.: Mindfulness made easy for medical students. Education in Medicine Journal, 6, 48-56.

Keng, S-L., Robins, C. J., Smoski, M. J., Dagenbach, J., & Leary, M. R. (2013). Reappraisal and mindfulness: A comparison of subjective effects and cognitive costs. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 51, 899-904.

Smoski, M.J., Keng, S.-L., Schiller, C. E., Minkel, J., & Dichter, G.S. (2013). Neural mechanisms of cognitive reappraisal in remitted major depressive disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 151, 171-177.

Keng, S-L., Smoski, M. J., Robins, C. J., Ekblad, A. G., & Brantley, J. G. (2012). Mechanisms of change in MBSR: Self-compassion and mindfulness as mediators of intervention outcome. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 26, 3, 270-280.

Robins, C. J., Keng, S-L., Ekblad, A. G., & Brantley, J. G. (2012). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on emotional experience and expression: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68, 1-15.

Keng, S.-L., Smoski, M. J., & Robins, C. J. (2011).Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: A review of empirical studies. Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 1041-1056.

Research Grants

Project title: The Influence of Adolescent Temperament/ Personality and Parenting on Adolescent Psychosocial Outcomes (2018-2021)
Sponsor: Ministry of Social and Family Development, Singapore
Role: Principal Investigator
Amount: SGD113,353.68

Project title: Effects, Mechanisms, and Dissemination of Mindfulness-based and Cognitive Behavioral Interventions (2017-2021)
Sponsor: Yale-NUS College
Role: Principal Investigator
Amount: SGD60,000

Project title: Honesty, Humility, and Humanity: How the Epigenome and Mindfulness Shape Moral Decision Making
Sponsor: World Templeton Foundation
Role: Co-Investigator
Amount: USD999,825

Project title: Effects of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction on Emotion and Cognitive Functioning among Singaporean Elderly
Sponsor: Center for Family and Population Research, National University of Singapore
Role: Principal Investigator
Amount: SGD10,000

Project title: Effects and Mechanisms of Mindfulness-based Interventions and Emotion Regulation Strategies
Sponsor: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore
Role: Principal Investigator
Amount: SGD180,000

Project title: Transition from Treatment to Survivorship: Effects of an E-Home based Symptom Management and Mindfulness Training Program on Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Survivors
Sponsor: Singapore Cancer Society
Role: Co-Investigator
Amount: SGD186,051

Research Supervision

PhD in Psychology (National University of Singapore)

Stephanie Lee Si Min (2017–2021)

Sukriti Drabu (2016–2019)

Master of Clinical Psychology (National University of Singapore)

Looi Pei Shan (2016–2018)

Elysia Tan Li Yan (2016–2018)

Lim Jia Li (co-supervision) (2015–2017)

Marian Heng (2015–2017)

Lee Yirong (2014–2016)

Michelle Tan Su Qing (2014–2016)

Nurulhuda Binte Abdul Rahman (2013–2015)

Kenny Liew Wei Lun (2013–2015)

Undergraduate Honors Thesis (Monash University Malaysia)

Toh Yuhang (2022–Present)

Clarissa Tanin (2022–Present)

Neshan Anantha Rajah (2022–Present)

Undergraduate Honors Thesis (National University of Singapore)

Andy Teo Hong Kiat (2017–2018)

Cassandra See Cheng Hui (co-supervision) (2016–2017)

Ang Qiuluan (2016–2017)

Charmaine Lee Siew Ling (2016–2017)

Tan Hui Han (2016–2017)

Choo Xinrong (2015–2016)

Tan Sze Chuan (2015–2016)

Soh Chang Yuan (2015–2016)

Tan Jun Xian (2015–2016)

Bernice Lin Xiang Ting (2014–2015)

Elysia Tan Li Yan (2014–2015)

Stanley Seah Tien Hong (2014–2015)

Undergraduate Capstone Thesis (Yale-NUS College)

Joseph Chin Wei Ern (2020–2021)

Emily Hwang Zhen Ning (2020–2021)

Hajin Hyun (2019–2020)

Nina Clare D’Costa (2019–2020)

Saw Young Ern (2019–2020)

Khor Xun Quan (2018–2019)

Crystal Lee Yun See (2017–2018)

Keith Tong Jia Jun (2017–2018)

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