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 team.  She has published over 50 peer reviewed articles and book chapters, and recently 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 is currently serving as the honorary chair of the YMCA Northumberland Strong Kids Campaign.

Selected Publications


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.

Dionigi, R., Fraser-Thomas, J., Stone, R., & Gayman, A. (2017). Psychosocial develoment through Masters sport: What can be gained from youth sport models? Journal of Sport Science. 

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.

Gayman, A., Fraser-Thomas, J., Dionigi, R, Horton, S., & Baker, J. (2017). Is sport good for older adults? A systematic review of psychosocial outcomes of older adults' sport particiaption. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 10(1), 164-185.

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.

Côté, J., & Fraser-Thomas, J.  (2016). Youth involvement and positive development in sport. In P.R.E. Crocker (Ed.).  Sport psychology:  A Canadian perspective, (3rd edition) (pp.256-287). Toronto:  Pearson Prentice Hall.  

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., 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.  

Other Research Outputs

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.


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)
Developer and Sponsor

MSLE Launchpad
Research and Evaluation Team

PYD SportNet
Research Team

YMCA Strong Kids Campaign (Northumberland)
Honorary Chair 2017


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

Promoting Positive Youth Development Through Youth Sport: PYD SportNET. SSRHC Partnership Development Grant. Primary Investigator: N. Holt. Co-Investigators: L. Strachan, M. Camire, D. MacDonald, K. Tamminen, J. Côté, & J. Fraser-Thomas

A Systematic Approach to the Development and Evaluation of Targeted Messages to Promote Parent Support Beahviour to Facilitate Sport Particiaption Among Children with Disabilities. SSHRC Insight Grant. Primary Investigator: R. Bassett-Gunter. Co-Investigators: K. Martin Ginis, A. Latimer-Cheung, & J. Fraser-Thomas

Positive Youth Development Through Sport: Does Intentially Teaching Life Skills Make a Difference? SSHRC Insight Grant. Primary Investigator: T. Forneris. Co-Investigators: M. Camire, & J. Fraser-Thomas

Curriculum Vitae (C.V. file):

CV of Jessica L. Fraser-Thomas