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Jessica Fraser-Thomas

Associate Professor

Research Interests

Dr. Fraser-Thomas is an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University, and member of the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research. Her research focuses on children and youths’ development through sport, with a particular interest in positive youth development, psychosocial influences, and sport trajectories. Currently, she is working on a SSHRC-funded project exploring young children’s earliest introductions to organized sport, characteristics of sport programs that facilitate optimal youth development. She is a recipient of the Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology Young Scientist Award (2007), the Province of Ontario Volunteer Service Award (2012), and the YMCA Canada Program Innovation Award (2019).


Department: School of Kinesiology and Health Science
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Published Manuscripts (Select Publications)

Harlow, M., Bassett-Gunter, R., & Fraser-Thomas, J. (2021). Exploring parents’ coaches’ and children’s experiences and perceived outcomes in preschooler sport. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise & Health. doi: 10.1080/2159676X.2021.1965012

Baker, J., Mosher, A., & Fraser-Thomas, J. (2021). Is it too early to condemn early sport specialization? British Journal of Sports Medicine, 55, 179-180. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2020-102053

Mosher, A., Fraser-Thomas, J., & Baker, J. (2020). What defines early specialization? A systematic review of literature. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living 27(2). doi: 10.3389/fspor.2020. 596229

Weiss, J.A., Robinson, S., Harlow, M., Mosher, A., Fraser-Thomas, J., Balogh, R., & Lunsky, Y. (2020). Individual and contextual predictors of retention in Special Olympics for youth with intellectual disability: Who stays involved? Journal of Intellectual Disability research, 64(7), 512-523.

Tristani, L., Tomasone, J., Fraser-Thomas, J., & Bassett-Gunter, R. (2020). Examining factors related to teachers’ decision to adopt of teacher-training resources for inclusive physical education. Canadian Journal of Education, 43(2), 367-396.

Larocca, V., Fraser-Thomas, J., & Bassett-Gunter, R. (2020). “Even if someone has a physical disability, they can still participate”: Youth with physical disabilities’ motivational physical activity message preferences. Disability and Health Journal, 13. DOI: 10.1016/j.dhjo.2019.100845.

Preston, C., Allan, V., Wolman, L., & Fraser-Thomas, J. (2020). The coach-parent relationship and athlete’s development in elite youth hockey: Lessons learned for conflict management. The Sport Psychologist.

Harlow, M., Wolman, L., & Fraser-Thomas, J. (2018). Should toddlers and preschoolers participate in organized sport? A scoping review of developmental outcomes associated with young children’s sport participationInternational Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology. doi: 10.1080/1750984X.2018.1550796. 

Preston, C. & Fraser-Thomas, J. (2018). Problematizing the pursuit of personal development and performance success: An autoethnography of a Canadian elite youth ice hockey coachThe Sport Psychologist, 32(2), 102-113.

Holt, N. L., Camiré, M., Tamminen, K. A., Pankow, K., Pynn, S., Strachan, L., MacDonald, D., & Fraser-Thomas, J. (2018). PYDSportNET: A knowledge translation project bridging gaps between research and practice in youth sportJournal of Sport Psychology in Action, 9(2), 132-146. DOI 10.1080/21520704.2017.138889. 



Capturing real-time and real-world emotion regulation during emerging adulthood: The application of an integrated theoretical perspective. SSHRC Insight Grant Primary Investigator: J. Rawana. Co-investigators: R. Bassett-Gunter, G. Flett, & J. Fraser-Thomas



Tykes and Tots: Exploring and Optimizing Coaching Effectiveness in Preschooler Sport. SSHRC-SPRI Insight Grant Primary Investigator: J. Fraser-Thomas. Co-Investigators: J. Baker, R. Bassett-Gunter, & J. Rawana



Special Olympics athlete experience during and following the COVID-19 pandemic. Special Olympics Canada Research Grant Funding Competition. J. Weiss, V. Lee, J. Fraser-Thomas, Y. Lundsky, R. Balogh, R. Bassett-Gunter, J. Noronha, & T. Sellito.



Understanding parental intentions to support child involvement in Special Olympics Active Start and FUNdamental programs. Special Olympics Canada Research Grant Funding Competition. Primary Investigator: V. Lee. Co-Investigators: R. Bassett-Gunter J. Fraser-Thomas, & J. Weiss