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Isobelle Kennedy

Post-graduate Researcher

Department: Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation

Isobelle is currently a first-year PhD candidate at Northumbria University. Her academic journey began at York St John University, from which she obtained her BSc (Hons) in Psychology. During this time, Isobelle completed a research assistant placement for a sport psychologist, investigating individual differences in personality within non, amateur and elite athletes. Following this, she went to Loughborough University to study MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology. Her MSc dissertation explored perceptions of recovery from mental illness in sport settings.





  • MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

  • BSc (Hons) Psychology

Overview of Doctoral Research

Mental health in elite athletes

The general focus of Isobelle’s PhD is on mental health in elite athletes. In part, the research will focus on perceptions of mental health and mental health issues in sport. This will include perspectives from the athletes themselves and the broader support team within the sporting organisation (i.e., coaches, physiotherapists, nutritionists, sport medics etc.). The research will also investigate the perceived environmental, social and psychological factors that impact the development of mental health issues within athletes. Additionally, Isobelle will explore the different pathways available to athletes in regards to mental health issues; who does the athlete turn to if they need to seek help? And what framework (if any) is in place to support them?

The PhD will combine both psychological and sociological schools of thought; it is hoped that this will enable a cross-disciplinary, holistic approach in regards to investigating the research topic. Due to the focus of the PhD being on mental health, Isobelle will predominantly use qualitative methodology to gain depth of insight in the experiences of participants.  


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