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Kelly Anne Young

Senior Researcher, University of South Africa

Dr. Kelly Young is a senior researcher in the Institute for Open and Distance Learning (IODL) at the University of South Africa (UNISA) with an academic background in Psychology. Her interests are centred primarily on student success models and predictions in the context of South African higher education and specifically in distance education. She has written papers appearing in journals such as the Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioural Assessment and the South African Journal of Education on topics ranging from psychometric analyses to cyberbullying. Dr. Young completed her doctoral degree at UNISA under the supervision of Dr. Angelo Fynn and Prof. Elizabeth Archer. Her thesis examined psychological grit and its efficacy in determining student retention among postgraduate students enrolled at a South African distance education institution.


  • 2022–present
    Senior researcher, University of South Africa
  • 2014–2022
    Researcher, University of South Africa


  • 2020 
    UNISA, PhD (Psychology)
  • 2015 
    UNISA, MA (Psychology)


  • 2022
    Debunking the grit-retention relation among historically disadvantaged students in a South African Open Distance e-Learning (ODeL) institution, Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning
  • 2022
    A Global South Perspective on Learning Analytics in an Open Distance E-learning (ODeL) Institution, Learning Analytics in Open and Distributed Learning: Potential and Challenges
  • 2020
    Exploring the psychometric properties of two primary domains in the Revised Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire (R-OBVQ) among primary school learners in South Africa, Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
  • 2018
    A comparison of gender, age, grade, and experiences of authoritarian parenting amongst traditional and cyberbullying perpetrators, South African Journal of Education