My research focuses on community-based approaches to developing practical and culturally-tailored interventions for athletes and, more recently, individuals who are traditionally considered ‘harder to reach’. I seek to understand how individuals learn to effectively regulate their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours with mental skills training, and determine the impact of self-regulation (or dysregulation) on performance, health, and well-being. Whereas sport psychology customarily focuses on mental skills as a regulatory capacity that athletes use in competitive and non-competitive situations, I more broadly use this knowledge to support health-related quality of life in communities that are more challenging to engage, such as homeless adolescents.
My current research develops, implements, and evaluates strengths-based programmes (e.g., Mental Skills Training for Life™ or MST4Life™) for improving intrapersonal and interpersonal skills in homeless young people. Informed by psychological and pedagogical theories, I develop practical approaches to intervention in collaboration with beneficiaries of this research. Using a community-based participatory research paradigm, my goal is to share learning and decision-making with key stakeholders so that all involved feel a sense of control and efficacy over the research process.
Topics covered by my research include:
- Imagery in sport, exercise, and dance
- Mental skills training in sport and life settings
- Transferable skills for academic and employment success
- Positive youth development for disadvantaged young people
- Sport performance issues (competitive anxiety, motivation, perfectionism, and psychological well-being)