Jessica L. Fraser-Thomas

Associate Professor

Locations / Contact Info:

350 BC
Keele Campus
Phone: 416 736 2100 Ext. 20952

Email address(es):

Faculty & School/Dept.

Faculty of Health - School of Kinesiology & Health Science


Ph.D. - 2006
Queen's University

M.A. - 2002
University of Ottawa

B.A. - 2000
Dalhousie University

B.P.E. - 1998
Dalhousie University

B.Ed. - 1998
Dalhousie University


Dr. Jessica Fraser-Thomas' research focuses on children and youths’ development through sport, with a particular interest in positive youth development, psychosocial influences (i.e., coaches, family, peers), and sport participation trajectories over the life course. Currently she is working on projects exploring preschoolers' introductions to organized sport, and characteristics of programs that may facilitate development within special populations and communities.  She is a member of LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research, the PYD SportNET research group, and MSLE Launchpad research group.  She has published over 70 peer reviewed articles and book chapters, and co-edited Health and Elite Sport: Is High Performance Sport a Healthy Pursuit? She is a recipient of the Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology Young Scientist Award and the Province of Ontario Volunteer Service Award, and YMCA Canada's Program Innovation Award.

Selected Publications

Beesley, T. & Fraser-Thomas, J. (2019) Claims of positive youth development: A content analysis of mixed martial arts gyms’ websites. Leisure/Loisir, 43(1), 1-25. DOI: 10.1080/14927713.2019.1582356. 

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 participation. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology. doi: 10.1080/1750984X.2018.1550796. 

Beesley, T., Riddell, M., & Fraser-Thomas, J. (2018). More than diabetes self-management: Positive youth development at an inclusive type 1 diabetic sport camp. Journal of Youth Development, 13(4), 81-99. doi: 10.5195/jyd.2018.644.

Harris, S., Bean, C., & Fraser-Thomas, J. (2018). Factors associated with psychosocial development and academic success among university student-athletes. PHENex Journal, 9(3), 1-22. Retreived from

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

Bean, C., Kramers, S., Camiré, M., Fraser-Thomas, J., & Forneris, T. (2018). Development of an observational measure assessing program quality processes in youth sport. Cogent Social Sciences, 4. DOI 10.1080/23311886.2018.1467304 

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 sport. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 9(2), 132-146. DOI 10.1080/21520704.2017.138889. 

Tristani, L., & Fraser-Thomas, J. (2017). Physical literacy: From theory to practice. Exploring new teachers’ early experiences in Health and Physical Education. PHEnex Journal, 9(1), 1-20.

Bassett-Gunter, R. L., Ruscitti, R., Latimer-Cheung, A. L., & Fraser-Thomas, J. (2017). Targeted physical activity messages for parents of children with disabilities: A qualitative investigation of parents' informational needs and preferences. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 64, 37-46.

Fraser-Thomas, J., Silver, M., Wolman, L, Khan, T., & Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (2017). A Physical Literacy Strategy for Urban Indigenous Families Through the Life Cycle. A report prepared for NCFST, Toronto, Canada.

Fraser-Thomas, J., Beesley, T., Dickler, L., Harlow, M., Mosher, A., Preston, C., & Wolman, L. (2017). Devleoping talent while promoting positive youth development: A balancing act. In J. Baker, S. Cobley, J. Schorer, & N. Wattie (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Talent Identificiation and Development in Sport (pp. 377-393). New York: Routledge.

Ryan, S., Fraser-Thomas, J. & Weiss, J. (2017). Patterns of sport participation for youuth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and intellectual disabilities. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities. 

Wolman, L. & Fraser-Thomas, J. (2017). "I am a lifer!" Facilitating the transition to non-elite adult sport: A case study of rugby in Canada's largest city. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 30, 215-225.

Holt, N., Neely, K., Slater, L., Camire, M., Cote, J., Fraser-Thomas, J., MacDonald, D., Strachan, L., & Tamminen, K. (2017). A grounded theory of positive youth devleopment through sport based on results from a qualitative meta-study. International Review of Sport and Exercise Pscyholgy, 10(1), 1-49.

Fraser-Thomas, J. Falcao, W.R., & Wolman, L. (2016). Understanding take-up, drop-out, and drop-off in youth sport. In K. Green & A Smith (Eds.), The Handbook of Youth Sport (pp.227-242). New York: Routledge.

Fraser-Thomas, J., Jeffery-Tosoni, S.& Baker, J. (2014). "I like that you can hit a guy and not really get in trouble": Young ice hockey players' experiences with body checking. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 12, 121-133.

Baker, J., Cobley, S., & Fraser-Thomas, J. (2009). What do we know about early sport specialization? Not much! High Ability Studies, 20(1), 77-89.

Fraser-Thomas, J. & Côté, J. (2009). Understanding adolescents’ positive and negative developmental experiences in sport. The Sport Psychologist, 23, 3-23.

Fraser-Thomas, J., Côté, J., & Deakin, J. (2008). Examining adolescent sport dropout and prolonged engagement from a developmental perspective. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 20, 318-333.

Fraser-Thomas, J., Côté, J., & Deakin, J. (2008).Understanding dropout and prolonged engagement in adolescent competitive sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 9, 645-66.

Fraser-Thomas, J., Côté, J., & Deakin, J. (2005). Youth sport programs: An avenue to foster positive youth development.Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 10, 19-40.  

Other Research Outputs


Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology (SCAPPS)

LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research, York University


PYD SportNet

North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA)

Service/Community Activities

Mothers of Newborns Program (YMCA Northumberland)
Program Development and Support

MSLE Launchpad
Research and Evaluation Team

PYD SportNet
Research Team

YMCA Strong Kids Campaign (Northumberland)
Honorary Chair 2017


YMCA Canada - Program Innovation Award - Mothers of Newborns - 2019

YMCA Northumberland - Ralph Family Spirit of Giving Award - 2013

Province of Ontario Volunteer Service Award - 2012

Franklin Henry Young Scientist Award, SCAPPS - 2007

John Pooley Sportsperson Award, Dalhousie University - 1998

Alumni Medal, Dalhousie University - 1998


Currently available to supervise graduate students: Not Indicated

Currently taking on work-study students, Graduate Assistants or Volunteers: Not Indicated

Available to supervise undergraduate thesis projects: Not Indicated

Current Research

Tykes and Timbits: Examining Preschoolers' Organizaed Sport in Canada. SSRHC Inisght Grant. Primary Investigator: J. Fraser-Thomas; Co-Investigators: C. Ardern, R. Bassett-Gunter, & R. Rawana 

Athlete Development in Parasport: The Canadian Paralympian Project. SSHRC Insight Grant. Primary Investigator: J. Baker, J; Co-Investigators: N. Wattie, R. Bassett-Gunter, & J. Fraser-Thomas

Community-Based Sport Education Program: Examining PYD in Adolescent Elite Student-Athletes. SSHRC Insight Development Grant. Primary Investigator: J. Leo. Co-Investigators: J. Baker, J. Fraser-Thomas, N. Wattie, K. Knibbe, & S. McReynolds 


Curriculum Vitae (C.V. file):

CV of Jessica L. Fraser-Thomas