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Personal profile

Research Biography

Current research projects

  • 2024 Athlete mental health and wellbeing on the road to the AFL Draft (funded by the Flinders Foundation)
  • 2024 Sociocultural impact and legacy of AFL Gather Round on South Australian communities (available PhD project funded by the SANFL)
  • 2023-24 Understanding parental psychological abuse in youth sport (funded by Flinders DVCR Impact Seed Funding)
  • 2022-2024 A multi-sport investigation of parent-club interactions in youth sport (funded by the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing SA)

PhD supervision

I current supervise/co-supervise a lab of 9 PhD and Honours students including:

  • Miss Kayleigh O'Donnell (Topic: how do youth sporting clubs navigate expanding social and cultural responibilities?; PhD scholarship holder)
  • Miss Emma Milanese (Topic: Social and cultural benefits of a unique sporting hub in a low socioeconomic community; PhD scholarship holder)
  • Mrs Sarah Crossman (Topic: Adult sport participation; PhD scholarship holder)
  • Mr James Kay (Topic: Re-engaging adolescent females back into organised sport; PhD scholarship holder)
  • Miss Madison Richter (Topic: Enhancing Executive Function in children and adolescents through motor learning; PhD scholarship holder)
  • Miss Emilea Mysko (Topic: Enhancing parental involvement in youth sport through violence education program; PhD scholarship holder)
  • Mr Glen Fernandes (Topic: Sociocultural impact of AFL Gather Round on South Australian communities; PhD Scholarship holder)
  • Mr Grant Gallagher (Topic: The educational needs of paramedicine educators)
  • Mr Caleb Crowden (Topic: Understanding mental health and wellbeing among disability youth sport participants; Honours student)

Research summary

I research three main areas: (1) research on parental involvement on youth sport psychosocial outcomes (including psychological abuse, parent-club interactions, and parental education programs); (2) Research on mental health and youth sport, and; (3) research on participation, retention, dropout, and reengagement (including the psychological, environmental, and social factors which impact sport continuation behaviour).

I have presented my work internationally in Australia, China, the UK, Canada, and the US, and have attained over $1 million in combined research grants, tenders and consultancies. 

I am postgraduate coordinator of the Graduate Certificate in Sports Coaching, active member of the Sport, Health, Activity, Performance and Exercise (SHAPE) Research Initiative, and creator and co-host of Beyond the Club, Australia’s leading science communication podcast for community sport. 

Supervised Students Successes

  • Jan 2024 Catherine Litchfield - PhD completion
  • Jan 2024 David Gow - PhD completion
  • Oct 2018 Reuben Smith - Society of Medical and Biological Engineering Award SA

Completed Supervisions

Principal supervisor:
  • Female footballers, injury and social support practices (1)
Associate Supervisions:
  • Health Education (2); PE and assessment (2)


  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Education
  • Public health

Supervisory Interests

  • Youth sport
  • Sport coaching
  • Social issues in youth sport
  • Parental behaviour in youth sport
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Sport participation and dropout


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