Shannon Bredin

Associate Professor

Research Interests

Motor Behaviour (Motor Expertise, Learning, and Development)
Human Performance
Physical Activity
Knowledge Translation and Mobilization
Indigenous Physical Activity and Health
Long-Term Athlete Development
Childhood Development

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs

Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters

Research Options

I am available and interested in collaborations (e.g. clusters, grants).
I am interested in and conduct interdisciplinary research.
I am interested in working with undergraduate students on research projects.
 
 

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2025
2026

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ADVICE AND INSIGHTS FROM UBC FACULTY ON REACHING OUT TO SUPERVISORS

These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a potential thesis supervisor.

Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision

Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.

From sampling to specializing: examining youth sport trajectories (2022)

Background: Youth sport development is often classified into specialized and diversified participation. Diversification is generally advocated before the age of 15 in youth sport development models. However, it has been proposed that there is a gradual shift occurring toward specialization in youth sport such that athletes may be training in a single sport at earlier ages in the pursuit of elite performance. Purpose: The purpose of this collected work was to examine youth athlete development in the context of specialization and diversification in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Methods: The research employed qualitative analysis of athlete developmental documents, online questionnaires, and semi-structured interviews. Results: Analysis of provincial LTAD models generally promote athlete diversification throughout the early stages of development; however, the proposed time requirements indicated by LTAD models may not make it feasible or sustainable for multisport activity. Within the province, it was also shown that parents of youth athletes from a range of sports are reporting multisport participation; however, this multisport participation is often demonstrated by participating in complementary seasonal sports during the traditionally defined off-season of their primary sport. In addition, when examining the athlete’s own experiences of specialization and diversification, the athletes recommended a diversified approach because of its benefits for physical, cognitive, affective, and motor/sport-specific skill development, as well as for social networking. Finally, irrespective of developmental trajectory, the perceived short and long-term impacts of COVID-19 increased with the age of athlete. Conclusion: The findings of this research suggest that the content of LTAD models resonates with youth athletes as a large proportion of athletes report participating in multiple sports throughout the year; however, it is also important to harmonize content and recommendations between provincial LTAD models to support the feasibility of multisport participation. Further, specialization-diversification is not dichotomous, wherein multisport participation may also be characterized by other factors such as seasonal specialization. Youth athletes today are also experiencing unprecedented levels of interruption to their development from the global pandemic, which also raises immediate and long-term concerns for youth athlete development. Understanding this impact is critical to safeguard the developmental trajectories of youth athletes.

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A novel telehealth program for the treatment of pediatric overweight and obesity: a program evaluation (2018)

Introduction: High rates of overweight and obesity among children in Canada have created the need for new and innovative strategies to treat the condition and address its underlying causes. Telehealth is an attractive option to reach children and families with barriers to accessing in-person treatment programs. The HealthLink BC Eating and Activity Program for Kids (the Program), a provincial telehealth program staffed by registered dietitians and a qualified exercise professional, was launched in Spring 2015 in British Columbia, Canada. A comprehensive program evaluation was implemented to assess its first 24-months of operation.Purpose: The purpose of this program evaluation was to assess the effectiveness of a telephone-based childhood obesity treatment program in its initial implementation phase.Methods: Participant data was obtained from physician referrals to the Program and/or information obtained at intake and upon follow-up (3 and 6 mo). Data includes the scores from a battery of questionnaires measuring: diet, eating behaviours, sleep, physical activity and sedentary behaviour, self-perception, and personal strengths and difficulties. Other data includes height, weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, blood pressure, and the extent of contact with the Program. Baseline measurements were compared with follow-up data obtained after Program completion at 3 and 6 mo.Results: A total of 55 participants consented to participating in the Program evaluation (25.5% of all referrals). Children in the evaluation generally adhered to the Program, with 56.4% of participants completing at least 70% (5 weekly calls) of the Program. At the 3-month follow-up: participants reduced their consumption of processed grain and meatiiiproducts, boys increased their fruit and vegetable consumption, both boys and girls increased total and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and reduced their time spent in sedentary pursuits. There were no changes observed in BMI. At 6-months post-intervention, some improvements in diet and physical activity had diminished. Results were impacted by small sample sizes and high variability across the sample.Conclusion: The Program succeeded at attracting and retaining children and teens referred to its telehealth services. Like many other intervention programs, participants reported modest improvements immediately post-intervention, but generally did not report maintaining positive changes.

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The effects of strenuous exercise on cardiovascular function in healthy men and women (2013)

No abstract available.

Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

Urban Indigenous perspectives and experiences with play (2023)

There are few universally agreed upon definitions of play. Furthermore, the way play is defined, understood, acted out, and valued, varies across cultures, yet the conceptualization of play within the context of Indigenous cultures has yet to be explored. This research sought to understand how urban Indigenous families conceptualized and experienced play. This included an exploration into what activities were included in play, and what factors influenced play for Indigenous families. This research used Métis methodologies: wahkootowin (kinship) and kiyokewin (visiting). These two concepts are interrelated in that they both speak to upholding and maintaining strong relationships through acts of relational accountability. These concepts also provided a theoretical perspective for understanding the connections between play, family, and wellbeing. Kiyokewin was practiced during five semi-structured interviews amongst a total of 12 people (7 adults and 5 children). The meetings provoked dialogue, which was further facilitated through the creation of art pieces and engaging in play. A thematic analysis of the interview transcripts was conducted to reveal five themes: (1) Play activities vary widely, (2) Play engages wahkootowin, (3) Play is conceptualized as an experience, (4) Play engagement is affected by many factors, and (5) Play can be part of kiyokewin. Participants named a wide variety of activities they engaged in with family, individually, or through organized programs. In describing their experiences, they spoke to their personal conceptualizations of play, describing how it was experienced and the feelings it evoked. They also discussed the importance of family and community in play, and how play provides the opportunity to bring people together. Participants identified many factors that influenced play engagement including interests, people involved, health status, colonization, and logistics. This work also demonstrated that play is one way to strengthen wahkootowin, and contribute to wellbeing. This study offered unique insights into the perspectives of urban Indigenous peoples regarding play within their families. It was benefitted by using Métis approaches to research that allowed for story sharing and engaged family members of all ages. The results offer numerous opportunities for further study, as well as recommendations for play programmers.

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Co-creation of a culturally-relevant approach to examining movement through story and storytelling in Indigenous communities (2022)

Background: Within motor learning, there is limited literature from the perspective of Indigenous peoples. Culturally relevant ways to realize the capacity for learning through story are important areas of research within Indigenous communities. Connecting story to movement may expand Indigenous knowledge in the area of motor behaviour, and may also be a culturally safe approach. Purpose: To examine story and storytelling in movement-related learning through a community-based and Indigenous-led research effort using culturally relevant approaches. Methods: Three sharing circles were conducted with Indigenous community members (n=5). In the first sharing circle, participants discussed topics related to sharing story through movement. In the second sharing circle, participants focused their conversation on expression and the storyteller story-listener relationship. In the third sharing circle, participants verified the synthesis and interpretation of the data. Sharing circle data were analyzed using a modified approach to Braun and Clarke’s (2006) thematic analysis methodology. Results: Data analysis identified a four component cyclical process that included movement to tell stories, storytelling, stories about movement, and storytelling strategies. Five movement learning themes emerged for Storytelling Strategies, including: expression, retention through movement, feedback, retention through reflection/relationship, and story and movement. Teachings, lived experience, Creation, and Ancestors were also identified as integral to the process. From these findings a Storytelling and Movement model was proposed. Discussion: The findings demonstrate a unique process for movement learning that is based on story and storytelling. The storyteller moves to tell a story, and through the story, the story-listener learns about movement. Five storytelling strategies emerged that dynamically interact with this process. The importance of the relationship between the storyteller and the story-listener was emphasized, as well as age, lived experiences, and community culture and traditions. Conclusion: The Storytelling and Movement Model represents an approach that includes both story and storytelling traditions for learning movement. The model includes elements that are shared between Western and Indigenous traditions as well as ideas specific to Indigenous knowledge systems. The proposed model is unique to the literature and provides an opportunity to further examine Indigenous Ways of Knowing through the storytelling tradition in motor learning.

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Dance educator experiences of developing skill in pre-professional adolescent ballet dancers (2021)

The path to becoming a professional dancer requires many years of dedicated training, typically in specialized dance programs. With the considerable amount of time, effort, and money required to develop skill in dance, factors that affect dance talent development have gained increasing interest in the dance medicine and science field. Dance educators are responsible for the day-to-day development of pre-professional ballet dancers and play an important role in influencing talent development. To date, little research has investigated dance educators’ experiences. Using hermeneutic phenomenology as a methodology to frame the study, the main research question was, “What is it like to experience teaching adolescent pre-professional ballet dancers with the goal of developing skill?”. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six dance educators teaching in pre-professional ballet programs. Using thematic analysis in line with the work of van Manen (2016) the experiences of participants were captured by five core themes: 1) Teaching is experienced through interactions with students; 2) Teaching is not “one-size-fits-all”; 3) There is more than one type of education; 4) Teaching is experienced through planning classes and teaching across time; and 5) Teaching is influenced by the environment. Participants discussed aspects of their teaching approach that fit within a student-centered paradigm. The results of this study contribute to dance pedagogy literature by highlighting some of the complexities of teaching adolescent dancers within the sociocultural context of classical ballet. The expectations of the dance studio, social media, and student expectations all play a role in shaping dance educators experiences. When discussing their approach to developing skill participants suggested a wholistic view of their students and dance education. This research offers a glimpse into the experiences of dance educators and provides insight into areas for future research in dance education.

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Examining early childhood gross motor skill proficiency in children born preterm (2018)

Preterm birth ( .05). Irrespective of gestational age, gross motor proficiency was low. Holding age constant, gestational age was found to be a significant predictor of both balance time and standing long jump distance. Children born at later gestational ages balanced longer and jumped further; however balance was still poorly performed by the participants. The findings of this investigation indicate the need for further research into the gross motor skill development of children born preterm throughout the early childhood years. These findings suggest that difficulties in fundamental gross motor skills are exhibited across gestational age and difficulties are not constrained to the first years of life, but also exhibited at preschool and kindergarten-age. This work has implications for the design and implementation of developmentally appropriate programming for the preterm population in the early childhood years.

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Examining the Relationship Between Off-ice Testing and On-ice Performance in Male Youth Ice Hockey Players (2015)

Background: In an elite sport setting, physical assessments are administered for talent selection purposes, as well as for continuous monitoring to ensure the effective implementation of training methods to reach optimal sport performance. Physical assessment allows coaches and trainers to determine where an athlete ranks compared to other players, as well as to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the individual. In ice hockey, research has focused on high performance players (e.g., NHL prospects) and the physical characteristics that they possess. To date, the early assessment of youth minor hockey players, and the relationship between off-ice and on-ice performance has received little attention. Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to examine the relationship between off-ice physical fitness performance and sport-related performance on on-ice assessments in male, minor ice hockey players. Methods: Eleven male minor hockey players were recruited across three birth years (2004, 2005, and 2006). Participants completed a battery of 14 off-ice testing protocols that measured body composition, musculoskeletal fitness, aerobic fitness, and anaerobic fitness, as well as 4 on-ice protocols that measured skating speed, skating agility, skating acceleration, and shot velocity. Results: Older players were taller and heavier than the younger players, and defensemen were taller and heavier when compared to forwards. Across participants, standing long jump was positively correlated to all skating tests (i.e., speed, agility, and acceleration). Players who jumped further demonstrated significantly greater on-ice skating performance. Significant correlations were also found between player weight and maximum speed, agility, and shot velocity. Lighter players were faster and more agile on the ice, while players with a greater mass demonstrated higher scores in shot velocity. A significant relationship was also found between push-ups and off-ice sprinting capability. Conclusion: These findings were consistent with high performance research with adults revealing that physical measures (such as standing long jump) may have predictive value for on-ice performance even in young, pre-pubertal ice hockey players. While such measures may contribute to the successful identification and selection of players for high performance, utilizing such assessments also has important training implications for the long-term development and performance of all players.

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Maternal health literacy and physical fitness in early motherhood, child motor development and home affordances (2012)

Health literacy and health-related physical fitness are important variables affecting health across one’s lifespan. Importantly, certain lifespan periods are more vulnerable to changes in health behaviour than others. Due to lifestyle changes and the perception of increased barriers to exercise, regaining pre-pregnancy fitness levels is often difficult. To-date, little is known regarding health literacy and physical fitness in the early years of motherhood. Therefore, the first purpose was to examine differences in health-related physical fitness of health literate mothers with children between the ages of 18 to 36 months compared to health literate non-mothers. In addition, little is known about the influence of health literacy and the home affordances that mothers may provide. As such, the second purpose was to examine whether health literate mothers provide environments with greater opportunities for child development (vs. mothers with low literacy). Sixteen mothers (31.9±3.8y) with a child between the age of 18 and 36 mo and 15 childless women (28.6±5.1y) completed a health literacy battery (Newest Vital Sign (NVS), Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM), Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (TOFHLA)), the Canadian Physical Activity, Fitness, and Lifestyle Approach (CPAFLA), and a physical activity questionnaire. Mothers also completed an Affordances of the Home Environment Motor Development (AHEMD) assessment. Sixteen toddlers (31±6mo) were assessed for motor development using the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales, 2nd Edition (PDMS-2). Results showed that all women demonstrated high health literacy levels. Non-mothers demonstrated greater health related physical fitness for push-ups (p=.009), partial curl-ups (p=.007), and vertical jump (p=.033) vs. mothers. In contrast, mothers performed significantly better on grip strength (p=.043). There was a trend between higher reading scores (REALM) with greater total variety of stimulation (r(15)=0.73, p=0.060) in the home environment. Increased variety of stimulation was positively correlated with locomotion (r(15)=0.88, p=0.008), object manipulation (r(15)=0.95, p=0.001), and visual-motor integration (r(15)=0.85, p=0.015) scores (PDMS-2). Despite similar health literacy levels, non-mothers demonstrated greater physical fitness; while mothers exhibited fitness levels associated with suboptimal health. Health literate mothers are more likely to expose their children to an environment that leads to greater proficiency on motor development tests.

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The Effects of Fatiguing Exercise on Cognition and Physical Performance (2012)

The overall objective of this work was to examine the use of a psychomotor battery to detect changes in cognitive function in relation to decrements in performance during fatiguing exercise of physically active men. Three types of investigations were conducted. First, a systematic literature review was conducted to provide evidence-based information regarding the use of psychomotor batteries as an early detection marker for overtraining. Second, a methodological investigation was conducted to examine the reliability of a CogState battery to measure cognitive function under repeat exposure, according to two different testing schedules. A massed group (n = 6) performed the battery three times per day for 5 days, while the distributed group (n = 5) completed the battery once per day for 15 days. For simple and choice reaction time, findings supported the repeated use of CogState. Third, a randomized control trial was conducted to document the time course of cognitive and physiological changes when exposed to a high training load. Eleven active males were randomly assigned to a training or control group. The training group completed a 20 km cycling time trial on 5 days; while the control group maintained their usual activity. Baseline and post-tests (maximal aerobic power, time-trial performance, cognition, Muscle Soreness, Sleep Quality, and Stress-Recovery) were collected one week prior to, and following training. During training, pre- and post-session measurements of cognitive function were administered (via a CogState battery). Other measurements included morning heart rate variability, muscle soreness, and sleep quality. A one-week period of recovery followed training, wherein cognitive function was assessed daily. Results revealed no differences in time-trial performances across days for the training group (p = .325). The training protocol did not produce levels of physical fatigue required to induce performance decrements in participants; subsequently, no cognitive changes associated to the training were observed. Anecdotally, participants reported feelings of fatigue, stress, and discomfort. These findings demonstrate that recreational exercisers do not perceive appropriately objective measures of their own performance. Recommendations are provided to address the limitations of the training protocol administered to induce performance decrements in recreational exercisers for further research in this area.

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Cardiovascular risk and the neighbourhood built environment in urban settings (2010)

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death, and the greatest contributor to health care costs in Canada. Primary prevention is an important strategy for limiting both disease and costs. Cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality are causally related to physical activity in an inverse, dose-response trend. Physically inactive lifestyles increase and hasten the incidence of CVD. Features of the built environment have been shown to moderate physical activity levels in neighbourhood residents and thus could also be contributing to CVD risk. However, investigation into the association between the built environment and modifiable CVD risk factors is rather limited. The purpose of this investigation is to compare levels of CVD risk factors affected by physical activity in neighbourhoods varying on walkability and number of leisure-time physical activity correlates. Objective measures of several cardiovascular risk factors: BMI, waist girth, systolic blood pressure and HDL-C concentration were collected on participants across British Columbia, Canada. Geographical information system software was used to score a 750m network buffer around each participant’s residence on the Neighbourhood Walkability Index and number of leisure-time physical activity correlates. Participants were also grouped based on their neighbourhood-level median after-tax income. A total of 2999 individuals were included in statistical analyses. Findings revealed significantly lower BMI, waist girth and systolic blood pressure values amongst residents of high (compared to low) walkable neighbourhoods. Individuals living in environments with more leisure-time physical activity correlates also exhibited significantly lower BMI and waist girth values. Higher income groups were associated with significantly less risk for BMI and waist girth. These results contribute to a growing body of research on the effect of the urban built environment at the neighbourhood level on cardiovascular health. This investigation is unique in its analysis of several CVD risk factors which are influenced by physical activity, beyond BMI. Findings of lower waist girths among residents of high walkability neighbourhoods are novel and speak to potential cardiometabolic effects of living in areas which support active transportation and leisure-time physical activity. Furthermore, our data identify low income neighbourhoods with the least physical activity correlates as relatively high risk areas.

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Health-Related Physical Fitness, Knowledge, and Administration of the Canadian Physical Activity, Fitness, and Lifestyle Approach (2010)

Research suggests that individuals who have increased fitness knowledge via health education are more likely to be physically active and fit. In addition, an individual’s health literacy is suggested to play a substantial role towards the acquisition of health knowledge. However, literature delineating the relationship between health knowledge, health literacy, and the components of health-related physical fitness is scarce and inconsistent. The Canadian Physical Activity, Fitness and Lifestyle Approach (CPAFLA) represents a series of standardized fitness testing procedures developed by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. In addition, the CPAFLA provides important health-related information to individuals intended to promote healthy lifestyle activities. To-date, the influence of the CPAFLA on health-related physical fitness knowledge and the components of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) regarding physical activity has yet to be examined. One large study examining two distinct sub-questions was conducted. The first question examined objectively the relationship between health-related physical fitness knowledge, health literacy, and health-related physical fitness in 34 participants (18 F, 16 M; 19-49 years). Knowledge was examined using the FitSmart, while health literacy and physical fitness were assessed via the NewestVital Sign and the CPAFLA, respectively. Results indicated that knowledge was asignificant correlate (r=O.40, p
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