Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology (PhD)
Psychological need satisfaction in exercise
Mark Beauchamp is a Professor in the School of Kinesiology at The University of British Columbia, Canada. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham (UK). His research primarily focuses on the social psychology of groups within health, exercise, and sport settings. He is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS). He is currently the Incoming Editor for Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology (APA) and is on the editorial boards for several other journals.
Peer-Leadership and Physical Literacy Intervention with Children; Group-based Physical Activity for Older Adults; Teamwork; Physical Activity and Health Promotion Interventions
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Dr. Beauchamp has exceeded any hopes or expectations I had about a PhD supervisor. From day one, Dr. Beauchamp has encouraged me to pursue a line of research that I am truly passionate about. He has created an environment that is the perfect blend--fostering independence, while always providing the time and support we students need to be successful. I can honestly say that there is no way I would have been able to achieve the goals I had for my PhD without him. I feel very grateful for his support and can only hope to pass on what I have learned from him to my future pupils.
Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.
The affective processes theorized to underpin, and result from, physical activity behaviour are inherently dynamic. Specifically, both affective processes and physical activity behaviour can be characterized as dynamic, as they are temporally dependent and vary continuously over time. Despite the critical role that time plays in understanding the affective dynamics underlying physical activity behaviour, the prevailing theories and methods do not adequately account for these temporal considerations. The continuous-time paradigm explicitly considers the role of time in the unfolding of dynamic psychological processes. Within this dissertation, I illustrate how a thoughtful consideration of time (using dynamic, continuous-time models) can enrich the conceptualization and modelling of the affective dynamics underlying physical activity engagement. Chapter 1 provides a general overview of affective constructs related to physical activity engagement and an introduction to the continuous-time paradigm. The first study (Chapter 2) is a state-of-the-art review of statistical approaches applicable to data derived from intensive longitudinal methods to elucidate the dynamic psychological processes related to physical activity engagement. Within this chapter, the continuous-time paradigm is compared and contrasted with other contemporary modelling approaches to illustrate the numerous possibilities of continuous-time modelling methods for advancing insights into the dynamic processes underlying physical activity behaviour. Chapter 3 details the application of a hierarchical Bayesian, fully random effects approach to examine the temporal specificity of the underlying dynamic relationship between positive and negative incidental affective states and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity using data derived from the Ambulatory Assessment of Personality, Ecological Context, and Stress Study (AAPECSS; https://osf.io/m3p4v/). The third study (Chapter 4) describes the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis that examines the presence, temporal specificity, and causal dominance of the reciprocal relationships between incidental affect and physical activity in daily life, using a novel random-intercept continuous-time meta-analysis (RI-CTmeta). In Chapter 5, a general discussion is provided in relation to the conceptual and methodological implications of the dissertation studies, the limitations of this body of work, and considerations for future research on the continuous-time affective dynamics that underlie physical activity engagement.
In spite of the assumption that teamwork is an important variable within the context of sport, formal research on this construct has been surprisingly limited. As such, the purpose of my dissertation was to examine teamwork in sport with respect to theoretical, measurement, and applied considerations. This dissertation consists of six studies which are presented in seven chapters. The introduction (chapter 1) provides a general overview of teamwork and its potential importance within sport. The first study (chapter 2) was a theoretical and integrative review of teamwork in sport. Within this chapter, a working definition of teamwork in sport, a multidimensional conceptual framework for understanding and investigating this construct, as well as a discussion of how it may relate to important variables in sport are presented. Chapter 3 consists of two studies: study 2 involved the development of a questionnaire to measure teamwork, titled the Multidimensional Assessment of Teamwork in Sport (MATS); study 3 involved an examination of the psychometric properties related to this instrument. An assessment of various group- and individual-level correlates of teamwork in sport was carried out in the fourth study, which is presented in chapter 4. The fifth study, a systematic review and meta-analysis assessing the effectiveness of controlled teamwork training interventions, is reported in chapter 5. This review was used to inform the development of a theory-based and evidence-informed protocol for enhancing teamwork in sport, which is described in the first part of chapter 6. This teamwork training protocol was then tested through a pilot intervention (study 6), which is detailed in the second part of chapter 6. In chapter 7, a general discussion is provided with regard to the implications of the dissertation studies, the contributions of this research to the field of sport psychology, limitations of this body of work, as well as considerations for future research on teamwork in sport.
The overall purpose of this dissertation was to examine variety in exercise, and investigate the extent to which the experience of variety in exercise is an additional psychological experience (i.e., when examined alongside satisfaction of the needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy, embedded within self-determination theory) that has implications for increasing exercise behaviour and exercise-related well-being. The primary purpose of Study 1 was to develop an instrument to measure perceived variety in exercise, and examine whether ratings of perceived variety in exercise prospectively predict unique variance in indices of exercise-related well-being (when examined alongside the three basic psychological needs within self-determination theory, Deci & Ryan, 2002). The results indicate that perceived variety in exercise explains an important amount of variance in indices of exercise-related well-being, in addition to satisfaction of the needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy. In Study 2 we examined whether perceived variety in exercise complements satisfaction of these three needs by prospectively predicting variance in exercise behaviour, through the mediating role of autonomous and controlled motivation. Results showed that perceived variety, competence, and relatedness were unique indirect positive predictors of exercise behaviour via autonomous motivation, and autonomy was found to negatively predict controlled motivation. Subsequently, we conducted a field-based experimental investigation for Studies 3 and 4 to examine whether the experience of variety in exercise causally influences exercise adherence behaviour and exercise-related well-being, respectively. Findings from Study 3 showed that greater exercise-related variety support influenced perceptions of variety in exercise, but not perceptions of competence, relatedness, or autonomy in exercise. Furthermore, greater variety support lead to improved exercise adherence, and that relationship was explained by perceived variety in exercise. In Study 4, we found evidence that exercise-related variety support led to higher scores on indices of exercise-related well-being, and that these relationships were mediated by perceptions of variety in exercise. Studies 3 and 4 provide evidence for the utility of targeting the experience of variety to influence exercise behaviour and exercise-related well-being. Combined, these investigations further our understanding of the predictive and causal implications that variety in exercise may have for exercise behaviour and exercise-related well-being.
The overall purpose of this PhD thesis was to examine the need to belong and a sense of belonging in relation to health-enhancing cognitions and behaviours. In chapter 1, an overview is provided of the need to belong and a sense of belonging in relation to human behaviour. Next, in chapter 2, the findings are presented from two studies that examined the effectiveness of framing exercise as a means of boosting social skills (versus health benefits) for increasing self-regulatory efficacy, exercise intentions, and exercise behaviour among socially isolated individuals. Results from Study 1 revealed that the social skills manipulation led to greater self-regulatory efficacy (but not exercise intentions). In Study 2, all participants reported engaging in more exercise; however, those in the social skills condition also reported a greater sense of belonging than those in the health benefits comparison condition. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 present findings from a program evaluation that sought to examine a group-based mentorship lifestyle program for adolescent girls, which aims to foster a sense of belonging among participants. In chapter 3, results from the outcome evaluation are presented in which participants reported significant increases in health enhancing cognitions and behaviours at the end of, and 7 weeks after, program completion. Findings discussed in chapter 4 revealed that participants’ cognitions at the end of the program prospectively predicted physical activity and healthy eating behaviour 7 weeks after program completion. In chapter 5, findings from a qualitative interview-based study indicated that participants enjoyed the program, reported changes in important health-enhancing cognitions and behaviours and developed meaningful relationships with program mentors and other program participants (i.e., a sense of connection to the program). Finally, a summary is provided in chapter 6 of the novel contributions of this research as well as limitations and future directions for inquiry. In conclusion, the research presented within this dissertation demonstrates that the need to belong can be used to improve health-enhancing cognitions and exercise behaviour (chapter 2) and feelings of belonging are an important component of effective mentoring programs that target health behaviours among adolescent girls (chapters 3, 4 and 5).
No abstract available.
Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.
Background: The social and economic inequalities derived from homelessness have consistently been found to be related to depleted physical and psychological health (Stafford & Wood, 2017). Social connectivity and social identity (i.e., a sense of ‘us’) are increasingly recognized for their capacities to help people address a range of health challenges (e.g., addiction, social isolation, chronic mental health challenges; Beauchamp & Rhodes, 2020; C. Haslam et al., 2018). Street soccer programs represent a potential avenue for fostering social connectivity, social identity, and quality of life among people who have experienced homelessness. The focus of this study was the Vancouver Street Soccer League (VSSL), which provides a weekly soccer program for people experiencing homelessness, marginalization, and addiction in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood. Objectives: The overall goals of my thesis research were to (1) understand the experiences of homeless and unstably housed players in the VSSL; and (2) understand how players felt the VSSL contributed to their sense of social connection, social identity, and well-being. Methods: Ten participants’ experiences (in their own words) were examined using two complementary approaches, namely Social Identity Mapping, combined with semi-structured interviews, in addition to over 50 hours of fieldwork that included playing at the VSSL’s weekly practices. Results: Four themes (and 11 sub-themes) were developed through reflexive thematic analysis. These included: (1) Coming together through soccer, (2) Dynamics motivating continued involvement in the VSSL, (3) Leaders and leadership: Social influence in the VSSL, and (4) The VSSL and health outcomes. Conclusions: Participants described being a VSSL player as like being part of a supportive family, where one can feel included and authentic. Participants also indicated that the VSSL represents an inclusive program with valued norms of social connectivity and friendly competition, and described notable experiences related to psychological safety, stigma, recovery (from illness or substance use), and shared leadership. Opportunities for practical application, future research directions, and the study’s limitations are discussed.
In the last decade, a number of former National Hockey League (NHL) players died by suicide and overdose. In response to these tragic deaths, the NHL initiated several community-level mental health awareness initiatives (e.g., Hockey Talks). However, less is known about the current state of mental health and wellbeing support for the athletes who work and play in professional ice hockey leagues. Help-seeking is an integral first step for individuals and athletes to access the care and support they need to cope and manage their mental health and other stressors. To date, there have been no studies that have examined help-seeking behaviours and processes in professional male ice hockey. A thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with 19 current and recently retired (retired within 5 years of interview) professional male ice hockey was conducted to explore their experiences with help-seeking over the course of their respective careers. To contextual the athletes’ help-seeking experiences participants described different stressors they encountered at the three major phases of their careers (1) pre-professional, (2) professional, and (3) following retirement. Four main higher-order themes were identified in relation to help-seeking experiences among ice hockey athletes. First, barriers to help-seeking describes elements that prevented or restricted athletes from engaging in help-seeking. Second, facilitators to help-seeking describe elements that encouraged or enabled potential help-seeking. Third, sources of support correspond to the different individuals and programs that participants sought help from or were offered support over the course of their careers. Finally, the different coping strategies and self-management techniques that athletes used, either individually or with their sources of support, are outlined. Findings suggest that help-seeking is a developmental process that is informed by cultural aspects of professional ice hockey.
The narrative in popular culture often relays the idea that genes are deterministic, meaning they lead to pre-determined outcomes such as obesity or mental illness (Dar-Nimrod & Heine, 2011). Personalized genetic reports, such as 23andMe and Ancestry, provide an opportunity for miscomprehension concerning the nature and role played by genetics in predicting/influencing salient behavioral outcomes. It has been suggested that these misunderstandings, when paired with human biases, subsequently influence maladaptive cognitive functioning and behaviour (Dar-Nimrod & Heine, 2011). Although genetic essentialism biases have been found to influence behaviours such as women’s math ability (Dar-Nimrod & Heine, 2006), no research has previously examined the implications of believing leadership ability to be genetically determined. The current study was designed to examine the effects of genetic essentialism on perceptions of one’s own leadership behaviours, as well as potential mediators of those effects. The results of this experimental study revealed that when participants were primed to believe that they had the genetic make-up of a leader, they subsequently perceived themselves to display higher levels of one form of leadership behaviour (related to ‘putting others first’). The results also revealed null effects in relation to a global measure of transformational leadership as well as overt displays of co-operative leadership behaviour (as assessed via a public goods game). With regard to the effects of genetic essentialism on ‘putting others first’, the results of a multiple-mediator analysis point to the salience of leadership self-efficacy as an explanatory mechanism. The findings are discussed with regard to the nature of genetic essentialism, study limitations, and implications for future research.
University is a vulnerable period for discontinuing regular physical activity, which can have implications for individuals’ physical and psychological health (Bray & Born, 2010). Accordingly, it is imperative to find and implement cost and time-effective interventions to mitigate the consequences of this transition. Mental contrasting is a self-regulatory strategy that involves imagining the greatest outcome associated with achievement of a desired future goal while considering the aspects of one’s present situation that may serve as obstacles for attaining that same goal (Oettingen & Gollwitzer, 2010). Intervention research has shown that mental contrasting can be taught as a metacognitive strategy in a cost- and time-effective way, affecting numerous health behaviours including physical activity (Oettingen, 2012). Drawing from diverse theoretical perspectives (e.g., Bechara, 2005; Lawton, Conner, & McEachan, 2009; Williams, 2010), recent meta-analytic evidence suggests that affective judgements (e.g., enjoyable-unenjoyable) exert greater influence on physical activity behaviours than health-related instrumental judgements (e.g., useful-useless; Rhodes, Fiala, & Conner, 2009). The purpose of this thesis was to utilize mental contrasting as a means of targeting affective judgements, through intervention, in order to bolster physical activity promotion efforts. One hundred and ten inactive, female university students were randomly assigned to an affective, instrumental or standard mental contrasting intervention. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 1-week post intervention and 4-weeks post intervention. Participants in the affective mental contrasting condition displayed higher levels of self-reported MVPA than those in the instrumental or standard comparison conditions, F(2, 90) = 3.14, p
Physical inactivity is a prevalent problem, with few Canadians active enough to accrue the health-related benefits associated with exercise (Colley et al., 2011). In response to ineffective physical activity promotion efforts, recent work suggests focussing on well-being as an outcome of exercise to better promote such behaviour (Segar, Eccles, Richardson, 2011; Segar & Richardson, 2014). While hedonic well-being has been reliably linked to increased physical activity behaviour (Rhodes, Fiala, & Conner, 2009), less is understood about the possible effects of eudaimonic well-being on exercise engagement. As prosocial behaviour has been linked to increased hedonic and eudaimonic well-being, and as prosocial motivation has been identified as a powerful means of behaviour change, prosocial exercise (engaging in physical activity to benefit others) may produce increases in well-being and future physical activity behaviour. In order to test this hypothesis, participants were recruited to take part in a six-week experiment, whereby half of the participants were randomly assigned to a prosocial exercise condition (and used the prosocial exercise app, ‘Charity Miles’), and half were randomly assigned to a personal exercise condition (and utilized a standard exercise app, Nike+ Running). Participants’ eudaimonic and hedonic well-being was assessed at baseline, two weeks following baseline, and before and after each use of the exercise app (i.e., at the bout-level). Exercise behaviour was assessed at baseline, two and six weeks following baseline, and after each use of the exercise app. It was hypothesized that the participants in the prosocial exercise condition would report greater exercise engagement and eudaimonic and hedonic well-being compared to participants in the personal exercise condition. Multilevel modelling analyses involving data at the bout-level revealed that participants in the prosocial exercise condition reported greater well-being and exercise behaviour compared to those in the personal exercise condition; however, this relationship was only evident when participation occurred in the winter, and not the summer months. As such, this study pointed to the potential effectiveness of utilizing prosocial exercise interventions when environmental barriers to physical activity engagement are present.
Parents are critical social determinants of the health-related behaviours of adolescents. The foundation that parents provide for a healthy lifestyle is particularly important as those lifestyle choices (e.g., physical activity) become under self-regulatory control during adolescence. The overall purpose of this study was to apply the tripartite model of relational efficacy (Lent & Lopez, 2002) to better understand the extent to which adolescents’ (aged 11-13) perceptions of the family environment predict adolescent leisure time physical activity. Specifically, this study examined how adolescents’ confidence in their parents’ (other-efficacy), adolescents estimation of their parents’ confidence in them (relation-inferred self-efficacy), and adolescents outcome expectations associated with physical activity involvement predict their subsequent involvement in physical activity during their leisure time. Four hundred and two grade 7 students from the Lower Mainland of British Columbia completed a questionnaire at two time points (April and June 2012) to assess the above variables. It was hypothesized that there would be a positive relationship between adolescents’ relational efficacy beliefs towards their parents with leisure time physical activity among adolescents. Structural equation modeling was used to examine model fit to test the different study hypotheses. Results revealed a just identified model that demonstrated that adolescents’ confidence in their fathers’ ability to help them be active was predictive of leisure time physical activity. The results from this research provide greater insights into the predictive effects of parents in relation to young adolescents at a time when physical activity becomes increasingly under voluntary control.
Exposure to transformational leadership behaviours has been associated with a host of positive cognitive, affective, and behavioural follower outcomes (Bass & Riggio, 2006). Moral elevation is a positive uplifting emotion that is experienced after witnessing a person performing exemplary moral behaviour and often leads to observers engaging in prosocial behaviours (Haidt, 2000). Despite the increasing empirical support for the positive effects of moral elevation, no previous research studies have measured exemplar behaviours that result in moral elevation of observers in a leadership framework. The trust belief is created through a series of judgements that lead a person to believe that the trustee’s actions will reflect their own best interests (Dietz & Den Hartog, 2006). Previous research has found that transformational leadership behaviours were associated with higher levels of trust, however, no previous studies have measured the association between a person’s trust belief and the tendency to engage in prosocial behaviour. The overall purpose of this thesis was to test the effects of transformational leadership behaviours on observer levels of trust, moral elevation, and prosocial behaviours. Seventy-five female undergraduate university students (Mean age = 20.55, Mean year = 2.93) from the Vancouver, British Columbia, participated in this research. Prior to measuring prosocial behaviour (i.e., charitable donations), participants were instructed to read an article about an African leader and complete a questionnaire which measured perceived transformational leadership (of the leader in the article), trust in the leader, and feelings of moral elevation. Participants were randomly divided into two conditions, intervention (transformational leadership behaviours) and control (corrective-avoidant leadership behaviours). Results indicated that participants in the intervention condition rated the leader as displaying greater levels of transformational leadership when compared to participants in the control condition. In addition, participants in the intervention condition also reported higher levels of trust in the leader, and moral elevation. No difference was found between participants in the two experimental conditions in terms of their displays of prosocial behaviour. Overall, these results highlight the ability of transformational leadership behaviours to instil higher levels of trust and moral elevation in observers.
It has recently been reported that Canadian youth are not meeting daily physical activity guidelines and as a result are potentially at increased risk of current and future physical and mental health problems. School-based physical education has been highlighted as a particularly salient setting in which life-long physical activity behaviour can be positively promoted. The overall purpose of this thesis was to apply the tenets of transformational leadership theory with a view to understanding the prospective relationships between students perceptions of transformational teaching and students’ (a) personal efficacy beliefs (task self-efficacy, self-regulatory efficacy), (b) relational efficacy beliefs (other-efficacy, relation-inferred self-efficacy), as well as (c) physical activity behaviours (within-class time and also during leisure time). Seven hundred and fifty three grade 10 adolescents participated in this research. Students completed a 20-minute questionnaire at two time points, eight weeks apart. In addition, a sub-sample of 53 students wore accelerometers for 5 consecutive days at each of the two time points. Analyses were conducted separately for males and females based on mean differences at baseline. However, the pattern of results between the independent and criterion measures in this study were largely the same for males and females. Results indicated that student perceptions of transformational teaching were able to explain significant variance in student self-efficacy, RISE and other-efficacy beliefs in the context of performing physical education tasks. Furthermore, a positive relationship between transformational teaching and within-class physical activity behaviour was found. No association was found between transformational teaching perceptions and leisure time physical activity behaviour. Self-regulatory efficacy (the belief a person has in his/her ability to self-regulate behaviour in the face of challenges and set-backs) and physical education self-efficacy (the belief one has in his/her ability to perform tasks in the context of physical education classes) were found to be positively associated with leisure time physical activity. Collectively, this research demonstrates the utility of transformational teaching in predicting adolescents’ health-enhancing cognitions and physical activity behaviour, specifically within physical education class settings.
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