Advancing research: Sport and exercise psychology book features MSU scholars

July 2, 2018

The latest installment of a widely used sport and exercise psychology resource for scholars features strong representation from Michigan State University, including current and former faculty and alumni. The fourth edition of “Advances in Sport and Exercise Psychology” (Human Kinetics, 2019) was published in June, and includes top international authors covering a span of research areas.

Alan Smith, chairperson of the Department of Kinesiology, joined longtime co-editor and creator of the book, Thelma Horn, to co-edit the completely revised edition of the book. Horn is also an MSU alumna, Ph.D ’82 (Health and Physical Education).

Alan Smith headshot

“Pursuing this book project was a rewarding process,” Smith said, noting the book includes an expanded scope and novel areas of research.

“Our goal was to work with world-leading scholars to communicate the current knowledge base and where we need to go next. Previous editions of the book focused predominantly on the sport context; with this edition, we expanded to address psychological aspects of exercise and general physical activity settings.”

Smith co-wrote two chapters, working with both graduate students and colleagues. “Peers and Psychological Experiences in Physical Activity Settings” (chapter 8, detailing research and theoretical perspectives) and “Athlete Burnout in Competitive Sport” (chapter 22, defining and measuring burnout, as well as offering recommendations for future research) align with Smith’s research agenda. He studies the link of sport and physical activity involvement with young people’s psychological and social functioning.

Advances in Sport and Exercise Psychology book coverOther authors and top-level scholars featured in the book include University Distinguished Professor and Chairperson Emerita Deborah Feltz and Maureen Weiss, Ph.D. ’81 (Health and Physical Education).

Horn and Weiss came to MSU in the 1970s and studied under then-new faculty member Dan Gould. Later, Weiss would become Smith’s doctoral advisor at the University of Oregon. Both alumni have been recognized for their scholarly and professional impact: Horn received the Professional Achievement Award from the Department of Kinesiology in 2015, and Weiss received the same award in 1999. Horn is now a professor at the University of Miami (Ohio), and Weiss is a professor at the University of Minnesota.

These MSU-linked scholars, and other contributors to the book, are the key leaders of sport and exercise psychology, Smith explained.

“We wanted the best people writing for this book, to share the cutting-edge of the field and direct us to next frontiers. Michigan State University is strongly represented in sport and exercise psychology, owing to a long history of high-quality research being done here.”