Research/Current Projects

Psychosocial Physical Activity Laboratory

In the 2PLAY lab we study the intersection of sport, play, and human development. We have done multiple research projects examining the impacts of a high-quality recess during elementary school and continue to be engaged in research that focuses on play in the school setting. We are currently focused on research that examines that the impact of sport on the mental health of athletes, as well as how the sport environment impacts participation and experiences in sport.

Listed below are examples of ongoing projects our lab is working on:

Sport and Mental Health in Adolescent Girls

In partnership with the Women's Sport Foundation and researchers at the University of Michigan and University of South Carolina, we are currently conducting research that examines the relationship between sport and mental health in 13-17 year old girls engaged in recreational and competitive sport. As a part of this study, we are also studying the conditions of sport that most contribute to markers of mental health in adolescent girls.

Mental Health over the Lifespan in Elite Female Athletes

This qualitative study is using narrative methodology to examine the trajectory of elite/professional female athletes and how their mental health has been impacted across different transitions in their career.

Parent Play and Social Development in Young Children

This study is examining how patterns of parent-child play at home influence the social and emotional competence of Pre-K children.

Siblings in Sport

This qualitative study is being conducted to examine how male and female siblings perceive parental investment across their youth sport careers, and how this investment (or lack thereof) influence sport choices and opportunities.

Positive Youth Development Environment in Sport and Child Outcomes

This study is tracking how the sport environment changes over the course of the season, and if correlates of youth development in the sport environment impact child level outcomes for participants.

Equity on the Playground: Who benefits mosts from interventions?

This study is being conducted in partnership with Playworks, and researchers at the University of Northern Colorado to examine how part-time recess coaches affect perceptions of belonging, victimization, mood states, and experiences at recess. Analyses are focused on identifying trajectories of change across sub-groups to determine if certain groups are receiving more benefits than others.

Recess Quality

School-based recess is a critical time during the school day for children to be physically active, play, and interact with peers. While much discourse and legislative decisions have recently surrounded recess time in elementary school, our lab is dedicated to understanding how to improve the quality of the recess environment. In doing so, we have partnered with a national organization, Playworks, to develop and validate the Great Recess Framework as a tool to better understand quality recess. If you are interested in recess evaluation at your school, please contact William Massey .

Social Fitness Club

Social Fitness Club (SFC) is a program for youth in out of home care that focuses on engagement in various exercise, play and sport activities that promote positive social interactions. The program is intended to engage and introduce the participants to the weight room and gymnasium, while promoting social skills like communication, leadership, and negotiation. SFC runs in eight-week sessions every summer, fall, winter and spring, and meets once a week for approximately 90 minutes.