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Karl Erickson

Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Dr. Erickson's research addresses two primary questions: 1) how does participation in sport and movement contexts contribute to psychosocial development and well-being for children and youth? and 2) how can this contribution be optimized toward positive development, learning and growth? In working to answer these questions, he is interested in the integration of performance, health and psychosocial outcomes, and how interpersonal processes in sport, particularly involving coaches and coaching, influence these developmental outcomes for youth. He also examines the learning and development of the significant adults, such as coaches, who support positive development for young people in sport contexts. To this end, he strives to ensure his work is interdisciplinary, systems-oriented and community-based.

Contact Information

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Selected Publications

Costa, G., Kochanek, J., & Erickson, K. (online head of print). “What does skateboarding mean to you?”: An exploratory study of Brazilian skateboarder’s developmental experiences. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health

Pierce, S., & Erickson, K. (2022). Performance psychology and positive youth development: A call to integrate for the benefit of all athletes. Performance Enhancement & Health, 10, 100231

Kochanek, J., & Erickson, K. (2020). More than just a game: Interrogating positive youth development through sport using critical race theory. Quest, 72, 224-240

DiSanti, J., & Erickson, K. (2021). Challenging our understanding of youth sport specialization: A critique through the lens of Bronfenbrenner’s PPCT model. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 14, 28-50

DiSanti, J., & Erickson, K. (2019). Youth sport specialization: A multidisciplinary systematic scoping review. Journal of Sports Sciences, 37, 2094-2105.

Kochanek, J., Matthews, A., Wright, E., DiSanti, J., Neff, M., & Erickson, K. (2019). Competitive readiness: Developmental considerations for competition in organized activities to promote positive youth development. Journal of Youth Development, 14, 48-69

Erickson, K., Côté, J., Turnnidge, J., Allan, V., & Vierimaa, M. (2017). Play during childhood and the development of expertise in sport. In Z. Hambrick, G. Campitelli, & B.N. Macnamara (Eds.), The Science of Expertise: Behavioral, Neural, and Genetic Approaches to Complex Skills (pp. 398-416). New York: Routledge.

Erickson, K., & Côté, J. (2016). A season-long examination of the intervention tone of coach-athlete interactions and athlete development in youth sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 22, 264-272.

Agans, J.P., Vest Ettekal, A., Erickson, K., & Lerner, R.M. (2016). Positive youth development through sport: A relational developmental systems approach. In N. L. Holt (Ed.), Positive youth development through sport (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.

Erickson, K., & Côté, J. (2015). The intervention tone of coaches' behaviour: Development of the Assessment of Coaching Tone (ACT) observational coding system. International Journal of Sport Science and Coaching, 10

Erickson, K., Côté, J., Hollenstein, T., & Deakin, J (2011). Examining coach-athlete interactions using state space grids: An observational analysis in competitive youth sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 12, 645-654.