Research in the sport and exercise psychology lab is focused on social relationships and self-regulation processes in physical activity and the role that they play in motivation, emotion, well-being. Our research is informed by theoretical and empirical work on social interactions, emotional and motivational processes. We investigate these phenomena in physical activity and health behavior contexts. Depending on the nature of the research question, we employ qualitative and quantitative methods in our research. These lines of research are examined in overweight and obese individuals, cancer survivors, and older adults.
For information on our published research, please see the Publications page. See below for a description of some of our current work.
Maintenance of Physical Activity in Older Adult Populations
Age-related functional declines often result in decreased quality of life, compromised mobility, and loss of independent living. Regular physical activity is a safe and effective strategy to delay and mitigate functional decline in older adults. Although a vast amount of literature exists that documents the effectiveness of behavioral program for initiating physical activity in older adults, less work has investigated how to ensure people maintain physical activity. Before optimal behavioral programs can be developed, the personal and environmental factors that contribute the most to the maintenance of physical activity among older adults must be determined. Such factors would be designated as key intervention targets. In this research, we are examining how changes in self-efficacy, satisfaction with physical activity, social support, and environmental factors influence physical activity participation over time.