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RESEARCH Psychology of Physical Activity

Research Themes

Mindfulness

Mindfulness

Open, nonjudgmental attention to one’s present experience during physical activity may optimize immediate and long-term psychological benefits. We are currently investigating the role of mindfulness during yoga and other modes of physical activity.

Self-Compassion

Self-Compassion

A compassionate stance toward the self in times of suffering through mindfulness, self-kindness, and a sense of common humanity reflects a resilience factor for adaptively managing cognitive and emotional experiences. We are currently exploring self-compassion in relation to how we experience body-related emotions and physical activity motivation and behavioral outcomes in adolescent populations.

Body Image

Body Image

Adults and youth alike are increasingly dissatisfied with the appearance of their bodies. We study how body image disturbance plays a role in physical activity experiences and motivation.

Physical Activity Motivation

Physical Activity Motivation

We use Self-Determination Theory to identify the types of motivation that will lead to the greatest enjoyment, effort and long-term physical activity behavior as well as the key social and psychological predictors of motivation.

Positive Youth Development

Positive Youth Development

The philosophy underlying positive youth development (PYD) is that all youth have the potential for positive growth and well-being and intentionally designed opportunities can build strengths and assets. We study how physical activity contexts can provide an ideal platform for PYD programs to maximize physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development.

Psychology of Physical Activity Laboratory
Smith Gym 213-A

Department of Educational Leadership, Sport Studies, and Educational/Counseling Psychology
Washington State University
Pullman, WA  99164