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ISYS 40th Anniversary


Dawn Anderson-Butcher | Ohio State University | "Youth sports as a vehicle for social development"

Dawn Anderson-Butcher is a professor in the College of Social Work at The Ohio State University and a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) in the State of Ohio. Her primary research interests focus on positive youth development in various social settings, such as schools, afterschool programs, and youth sport. Her secondary research interests include exploring how school-family-community partnerships maximize school- and community-based resources for learning and healthy development, especially in communities serving vulnerable children and families. Her research in these areas has been widely published. At OSU, Dr. Anderson-Butcher serves as the Director of the Community and Youth Development Institute (CAYCI), as well as the Director of Teaching/Research for the OSU LiFEsports Initiative (  Additionally, Professor Anderson-Butcher chairs the national Mental Health-Education Integration Council, a network of interdisciplinary scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and graduate students focused on workforce preparation issues in school mental health.



Martin Camiré | University of Ottawa (CAN) | "Making high school sport impactful"

Martin Camiré is an Associate Professor in the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa. Through his research, Dr. Camiré is interested in examining how positive youth development can be facilitated in the context of sport. Further, Dr. Camiré studies the role played by coaches in facilitating the development and transfer of life skills (e.g., goal-setting, leadership, effective decision making) in youth sport participants. His teaching interests lie in the areas of intervention, health promotion, and research methods.



Mark Eys | Wilfrid Laurier University (CAN) | "Group processes and outcomes in youth sports" *TBC

Dr. Mark Eys is a Professor in the Departments of Kinesiology/Physical Education and Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Group Dynamics and Physical Activity. His current research interests include role acceptance in sport, the measurement and correlates of cohesion, and the application of group dynamics across contexts (sport, exercise, organizations). Dr. Eys research related to cohesion in youth physical activity groups was supported by a 3 year standard research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (2005-2008) and continued with support through Ontario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation Early Researcher Award program (2007-20120. He has published his research in top sport and exercise psychology journals, as a co-author of the bookGroup Dynamics in Sport (2012; Fitness Information Technology), and as a co-editor of Group Dynamics in Exercise and Sport Psychology (2014; Routledge).



Chris Harwood | Loughborough University (UK) | "Performance enhacement and the young athlete"

Dr. Chris Harwood is a Professor in Sport Psychology and the University Beacon lead for Sport and Exercise. He is also a Practitioner Sport Psychologist registered with the Health Care Professions Council and a Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society. His research interests and expertise lie in the psychosocial aspects of youth sport and athlete development with a particular focus on the socio-environmental influence of parents and coaches. He has particularly focused his applied research in the field of achievement motivation, sport parenting and through his work on the 5Cs approach ( to athlete development. As a scientist-practitioner, he is also noted for his work in professional practice and the study of factors related to the training and development of applied sport psychologists. He has worked extensively with the Lawn Tennis Association, the Football Association, and several professional sporting bodies and clubs.




Nick Holt | University of Alberta (CAN) | "Youth sports scientific knowledge translation"

Nick Holt is a Professor and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta. He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada, College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientist. He conducts research examining psychosocial factors associated with participation in sport and physical activity among children, adolescents, and their families. He currently leads the PYDSportNET project, a knowledge translation initiative designed to link research and practice in sport. In his spare time, he is a soccer coach at youth and collegiate levels, and likes to run, ski, and ride a long way.



Thelma Horn | Miami University, Ohio | "Coaching young athletes"

Dr. Horn's is a professor of sport studies in the Department of Kinesiology and Health, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Her primary research focus is to examine if and how the behavior and psychosocial growth of children, adolescents, and young adults in sport and physical activity contexts is affected by significant others (e.g., coaches, parents, teammates) in their social environment. Dr. Horn has published widely in the field and is the co-author of Advances in Sport and Exercise Psychology.



Gretchen Kerr | University of Toronto (CAN) | "Addressing abuse in youth sports"

Gretchen Kerr is a Professor and Vice-Dean in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses broadly on the study of athlete maltreatment with specific interests in emotional and sexual abuse. She has contributed to the development of youth protection in sport initiatives in Canada and abroad, and serves as an Athlete Welfare Officer for sport organizations. Professor Kerr has extended her research expertise in athlete maltreatment and protection to the education of sport practitioners and policy makers, thus having a significant impact on professional practice and program innovation. Her research has informed educational initiatives of such organizations as the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity, and the Coaching Association of Canada, as well as the 2018 Madrid Declaration to End Violence in Sport.



Camila Knight | Swansea University (UK) | Revealing findings in sport parent research"

Dr. Camilla Knight is an Associate Professor in Sport Science at Swansea University, UK. She is also the lead of the Welsh Research Advisory and Evaluation group for the Child Protection in Sport Unit, a member of the Welsh Safeguarding in Sport Strategy group, and the Youth Sport lead for the Welsh Institute of Performance Science. Camilla’s research interests are concerned with understanding and enhancing the psychosocial experiences of children in sport, with a particular focus upon the influence of parents. Camilla is co-author of “Parenting in youth sport: From Research to Practice” (Routledge, 2014) and co-editor of “Sport Psychology for Young Athletes” (Routledge, 2017). Camilla has published widely on topics such as parents’ experiences in sport, parental involvement in sport, youth sport participation, and parent-coach relations. She has consulted with a number of national and international sports organizations regarding parental involvement in sport and works with a number of young athletes, parents, and coaches to help enhance their experiences and performance within youth sport.



Jeff Martin | Wayne State University | "Reaching out to special populations in youth sports"

Dr. Jeff Martin is currently a full professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He has published/in press over 200 research articles and book chapters. His major research agenda has been on the psychosocial aspects of disability sport and physical activity. His research has been predominately on understanding the determinants of elite disability sport performance using self-efficacy theory with an additional focus on understanding physical activity engagement using social cognitive theory. In addition, he has also written extensively on psychological skill development using a personal development model of psychological skills training. He has received over $8 million in federal and foundation funding to support he and his colleagues research programs.



Stewart Vella | University of Wollongong (AUS) | "Using sport to facilitate mental health in young athletes"

Dr. Stewart Vella is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Psychology at the University of Wollongong. He is also a Movember Foundation Men's Health Partner and a National Heart Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Dr Vella is a developmental sport psychologist with specific expertise in the relationships between sport participation and multiple indicators of health during childhood and adolescence. His focus is primarily on mental health. Using large and nationally representative datasets he has linked participation in organised sports during childhood and adolescence with increased levels of enhanced social and emotional functioning, enhanced health-related quality of life, personality change, and protection against mental health problems. He is currently leading a national, multi-institution, multi-component, community-based project to promote mental health, prevent mental health problems, and target early intervention using organized sporting clubs. He has initiated and is actively leading research collaborations with the Australian Sports Commission, Cricket Australia, Cricket NSW, the Australian Football League (AFL), Football Federation Australia, Basketball Australia, Swimming Australia, Tennis Australia, the Black Dog Institute, the Australian Drug Foundation. Dr Vella has over $5 million in competitive grant funding. He is currently Associate Editor at the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology and is a member of the review panel of the International Sport Coaching Journal.



Maureen Weiss | University of Minnesota | "Youth sport motivation and participation: paradigms, perspectives, and practicalities"

Dr. Weiss is a professor in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota. Her research has focused on sport and physical activity as a context for promoting youths’ physical, social, and psychological development. Dr. Weiss’s work takes a developmental theoretical perspective, by considering youths’ cognitive, social, emotional, and physical abilities in describing and explaining variations in behavior related to motivation, self-perceptions, social relationships, moral development, and observational learning. Since 2009, Dr. Weiss’s most fulfilling work has been with Girls on the Run, a physical activity, positive youth development program designed to enhance girls’ social, emotional, and physical development using running as a vehicle.


Paul Wylleman | Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium) | "Holistic career development of young athletes"

Paul Wylleman, Ph.D. Psychology, is lic. Clinical psychology and full-professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel teaching sport psychology, high performance management and mental support for athletes. His research and publications focus on athletic career (transitions), psychological competences of talented and elite athletes, and psychology support services in elite sport. He coordinated two European Erasmus Sport projects on dual career and athletic retirement. Paul heads the university department Topsport and Study as well as the research group Sport Psychology and Mental Support. He is past-President of the European Federation of Sport Psychology (FEPSAC) and was the 2017 Distinguished International Scholar of the Applied Association of Sport Psychology (AASP). Finally, Paul is since 2013 expert Performance Behaviour at TeamNL of the Olympic Committee of the Netherlands (NOC*NSF) where he heads a team of elite sport lifestyle coaches, sport & performance, health and clinical psychologists, and psychiatrists. He was the TeamNL team psychologist at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and is now en route with TeamNL to the 2020 Tokyo and 2022 Being Olympic Games.