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Personal profile

Overview

Upon the completion of my PhD in 2015, I joined the School of Health and Life Sciences as a Lecturer in the psychology of sport and physical activity.

My research interests focus on the psychological determinants of sport performance and physical activity behaviour. My research investigates the interplay between psychological, physiological and social factors (e.g., deprivation) and how they work together to influence the participation and performance of physical activity.

I conduct and supervise research within sport contexts to investigate coach behavior change and the measurement and impact of specific coaching behaviours within different populations. I am currently investigating the relationships between physiological and mental fatigue on athlete and referee decision-making. 

I have also conducted and supervised multiple projects with NHS Lanarkshire and educational stakeholders to create novel interventions and provide impactful recommendations to increase children's physical activity, and parental involvement in such activities. 

 

 

Current research activities

Research Expertise:

Experienced in complex behaviour change intervention design and development/co-creation with key stakeholders (e.g., sport organisations, schools, teachers and children) and expertise in multiple approaches to quantitative and qualitative inquiry and intervention evaluation.

Experienced in the objective measurement of physical activity using accelerometers and actipal devices using novel metrics by analysing raw data using R.

Experienced in statistical analyses of quantitative data with large and complex nested data sets: familiar with SPSS, PROCESS, MPLUS, LISREL. I have specific expertise in the validation of psychometric tools. I have experience of analysing and publishing peer-reviewed articles featuring multi-level models to run factor analyses, mediation and moderation models using both frequentist and more recently favoured Bayesian approaches.

Current Postgraduate Research Projects:  

PhD studentship (Samuel Thompson). The development of a nutrition focussed behaviour change interventions for elite adolescent football players. Funded by UWS and Celtic Football club.

PhD studentship (Kim Ludwig): The development and evaluation of a mobile health intervention to deliver automated text-messaging to promote healthy behaviours in adolescents. Funded by UWS and NHS Lanarkshire (thesis submitted, awaiting VIVA with Dr Emily Oliver, Durham University)

PhD Studentship (Gary Mcewan): Psycho-physiological approaches to referee development. Funded by UWS and Scottish Football Association.

MRes Studentship (Alessio Marciano): The effects of prolonged mental fatigue and hypoxia on exercise performance in different intensity domains.

Other Current research projects and interests: 

Physical activity in green spaces in areas of deprivation.

Happy Homework Physical activity intervention for parents and children. A clustered randomised controlled trial evaluation.

Activity breaks; a classroom-based physical activity intervention for teachers and pupils. A clustered randomised controlled trial.  

Mechanisms influencing screen-time use of parents and children.

The impact of screen-time on athletic performance.

Coach behaviour change and processes of effective coach education delivery; increasing the coaching of psychological skills.

Research Funding Awarded: 

£209,795: Knowledge Transfer Partnership: Routes to work (Co-investigator).

£79,000: NHS Lanarkshire PHD studentships: Investigations into child healthy weight initiatives (Co-investigator).

£18,000: Scottish Football Association PHD studentship: Psycho-physiological approaches to referee development (Principal Investigator).

£10,000: A pilot study to investigate the impact of Walking Football on Health and Wellbeing' on behalf of the charity, Paths for All (Co-investigator)

£3,000: A cultural investigation for British Rowing on behalf of UK Sport and British Rowing (Principal Investigator).

Completed Post-graduate research projects: 

PhD Studenthship: (Dr Jordan Donnelly, 2016-2020). Soccer programme for disadvantaged adults: The journeys and experiences of participants and their coaches. Examined by Dr Chris Wagstaff (Portsmouth University)

PhD Studentship: (Dr Gillian McCellan, 2016-2020). School-based interventions to promote physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour in primary school settings. Examined by Dr Fiona Muirhead (Strathclyde University)

PhD Studentship: (Dr Samantha Donnelly, 2016-2020) Exploring the influence of parents, socio-economic status and healthy homework on children's activity and Body Mass Index. Examined by Dr Samantha Fawkner (Edinburgh University) 

PhD Studentship: (Dr Vista Beasley, 2014-2018) Application of Social Identity Approach to the Study of Mental Toughness and Overuse injury in Physical Activity. Examined by Dr Ross Wadey (St Mary's University)

Mres Studentship (Gillian McCellan 2015-2017). The feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of evaluating a teacher led health resource for improving measures of health and well-being in primary school children. Examined by Dr Lynne Boddy (Liverpool John Moores University).

MRes Studentship (Samantha Donnelly 2015-2017) Improving school-based health interventions and activities; qualitative investigations with teachers and parents. Examined by Dr Fiona Muirhead (Strathclyde University)

MRes Studentship (Dr Gary McEwan, 2015-2017) Physiological, performance and perceptual responses to an acute bout of high intensity interval training when between-effort recovery periods are self-regulated. Examined by Dr Matt Weston (Teeside University)

Desired research direction

To establish PHERC (Peadiatric Health and Exercise Research Centre) as a leading force within obesity prevention and progress a systemic approach to childhood health interventions. 

To develop of a more refined understanding of the nature and impact of psychological strategies during exercise and sport decision-making (e.g., refereeing) by taking a psych-biological approach to investigation. 

To generate further understanding of professional behaviour change within sport and how coach education can be optimised. 

Target collaborative organisations

NHS

Education Scotland

Sport Scotland

Glasgow Science Centre

Sport Coach UK

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

 Intervention and programme evaluation (both statistical and qualitative analysis)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

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