KU Sport & Exercise Psychology Lab

The KU Sport & Exercise Psychology Laboratory (KUSEPL) is devoted to research and service that helps individuals optimize their physical activity experiences. The lab members include faculty, graduate and undergraduate students studying and working in the field of sport and exercise psychology. The Director of the KUSEPL is Dr. Mary Fry, a KU faculty member whose research focuses on the influence of the psychosocial environment in sport on participants’ motivational responses, as well as their physical and psychological well-being. Research from the KUSEPL employs an Achievement Goal Perspective Theory and caring framework to examine how participants’ perceptions of a task-involving (one focused on each person’s personal effort, improvement, and cooperation) and caring climate (where each person involved is treated with mutual kindness and respect) impact their enjoyment, desire to continue their sport participation, and psychological responses including empathy, emotional regulation, hope and happiness. The KUSEPL regularly conducts evaluations of physical activity programs, provides training to coaches and professionals working in sport and physical activity settings on how to create task-involving and caring climates, and delivers physical activity/positive life skills and mental skills training programming to participants of all ages.

Mary Fry, PhD., is a faculty member in the Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Science at the University of Kansas and Director of the KU Sport and Exercise Psychology Lab. She oversees the academic program area in sport and exercise psychology at KU. Her research examines the benefits of creating positive and supportive climates in physical activity settings for people of all ages that help optimize their sport and exercise experiences. Mary completed her graduate work in sport and exercise psychology at Purdue University (PhD) and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro (MS), and her undergraduate degree in physical education at Texas Wesleyan College. She has served on the executive board of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, and is recognized as a Fellow in that organization. Mary is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, and serves on the editorial boards for Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology, and the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology.

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