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Personal profile

Research Biography

Dr Ivanka Prichard's research explores the connections between body image and health behaviour with a particular focus on lifestyle factors associated with cancer prevention (diet, physical activity, tanning, and alcohol consumption). She has a PhD in Psychology from Flinders University and has a background in health psychology, exercise, eating behaviour, and body image research. Currently, she is interested in how the media shapes body image, social norms around different health behaviours, and family influences on health behaviour across the lifespan (ORCID ID).

Ivanka joined the Discipline of Health & Exercise Sciences at Flinders University in 2014. Her teaching interests are in the area of health and exercise psychology. Ivanka is Co-Deputy Director of the SHAPE Research Centre (Sport, Health, Activity, Performance, Exercise) at Flinders University.

Research Interests

My research interests lie in the area of health psychology, with a particular focus on body image and lifestyle factors associated with obesity and cancer prevention (diet, physical activity, tanning, and alcohol consumption). I am currently leading a number of research projects across all of these areas.

Current Research:

  • Body image & exercise: Body image concern and lack of physical activity are both major issues in Australia. My research in this area examines body dissatisfaction as an obstacle to exercise participation in young women and the impact of inspirational fitness images from social media on actual exercise behaviour and psychological well-being among young women.
  • Exercise & eating behaviour: Some people may not reach their health goals because they psychologically compensate for positive health behaviours with negative ones. My research in this area explores how individuals cognitively justify compensating for exercise with food and vice versa.
  • Intergenerational transmission of eating behaviour: Dietary habits are primarily established and maintained in family environments. Genetic and environmental risk factors for overweight and disease also cluster in families, making them an important target for dietary-focused disease prevention. My research in this area examines the influence of different family members (child, parent, grandparent) on both healthy and unhealthy eating behaviour.
  • Health behaviours: It is important to identify modifiable psychological factors that could have long term implications for the incidence of lifestyle related diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, as well as some cancers. My research in this area focuses on understanding lifestyle factors associated with tanning, alcohol consumption, dietary intake and physical activity.



  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Health sciences
  • Healthy start to life

Supervisory Interests

  • Nutrition and cancer prevention
  • Health psychology
  • Health promotion and education
  • Psychology
  • Cancer, primary and secondary prevention strategies
  • Family health
  • Eating behaviour
  • Eating habits, family influence
  • Physical activity
  • Body image
  • Exercise and sport science


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