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 and the PYD SportNET research group.  She recently co-edited Health and Elite Sport: Is High Performance Sport a Healthy Pursuit? (2015). 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. She is currently serving as the honourary chair of the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign (Northumberland).

Selected Publications

Fraser-Thomas, J., Strachan, L., & Jeffery-Tosoni, S. (2013). Family influence on children's involvement in sport. In J. Côté & R. Lidor (Eds.),Conditions of Children’s Talent Development in Sport (pp. 179-196).Morgantown: Fitness Information Technology.  

Abgarov, A., Fraser-Thomas, J., Baker, J., & Jeffery-Tosoni, S. (2012). Understanding Social Support throughout the Injury Process among Interuniversity Swimmers. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 5(2), 213-239.

Dionigi, R., Fraser-Thomas, J., & Logan, J. (2012). The nature of family influences on sport participation in master athletes. Annals of Leisure Research15, 366-388.

Spassiani, N., Jeffery-Tosoni, S., Fraser-Thomas, J., & Kuk, J. (2012). Understanding youths’ experiences in a holistic weight management program. Journal of Youth Development, 7(2), 15-26.

Côté, J., & Fraser-Thomas, J.  (2011). Youth involvement and positive development in sport. In P.R.E. Crocker (Ed.).  Sport psychology:  A Canadian perspective, (2nd edition) (pp.226-255). Toronto:  Pearson Prentice Hall.  

Fraser-Thomas, J., Côté, J., & MacDonald, D. J. (2010).Community size in youth sport settings: Examining developmental assets and sport withdrawal. PHENex Journal, 2(2), retrieved July 15, 2010 from

Côté, J., Bruner, M. Strachan, L., Erickson, K., & Fraser-Thomas, J. (2010). Athletes’ development and coaching. In J. Lyle & C. Cushion (Eds.), Sport coaching: Professionalism and practice (pp.63-83). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

Baker, J., Fraser-Thomas, J., Dionigi, R. A., & Horton, S. (2010). Sport participation and positive development in older persons, European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, 7, 3-12.

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.  




Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology (SCAPPS)

LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research, York University


Service/Community Activities

Mothers of Newborns Program (YMCA Northumberland)
Developer and Sponsor

YMCA Strong Kids Campaign (Northumberland)
Honorary Chair 2017


Alumni Association Medal, School of Health and Human Perform - 1998

John C. Pooley Sportsperson Award - 1998

Franklin Henry Young Scientist Award - 2007

Province of Ontario Volunteer Service Award - 2012

YMCA Northumberland – Rolph Family Spirit of Giving Award - 2013


Currently available to supervise graduate students: No

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

Available to supervise undergraduate thesis projects: No

Current Research

Trickle down effect? Exploring the influence of the Olympic  Games on preschooler development and sport participation. SSRHC Standard Research Grant - Sport Canada Research Initiative (SCRI). Primary Investigator: J. Fraser-Thomas; Co-Investigator: P. Safai; Collaborator: P. Donnelly.

An uneven playing field: Understanding relative age effects in sport. SSHRC Standard Research Grant. Primary Investigator: J. Baker, J; Co-Investigators: S. Horton, P. Weir, J. Fraser-Thomas, S.Cobley, & J. Schorer

Assessing youth sport programs’ facilitation of positive youth development. SSRHC Standard Research Grant. Sport Canada Research Initiative (SCRI). Primary Investigator: J. Fraser-Thomas; Co-Investigators: J. Côté, N. Holt.

Enhancing psycho-social development in youth living with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. Faculty of Health Junior Faculty Award, York University.

The ultimate challenge: Exploring an ultra-endurance athlete’s psychological journey. Faculty of Health Minor Research Grant and LaMarsh Research Development Fund, York University. 

Understanding the experiences of a child star athlete from a developmental perspective: A longitudinal case study. Faculty of Health Junior Faculty Award, York University.                                             

Curriculum Vitae (C.V. file):

CV of Jessica L. Fraser-Thomas