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Joanne Smith

Post-graduate researcher and demonstratorjoanne smith

Department: Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation

Prior to her PhD, Joanne spent five years as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner within an NHS Primary Care Psychological Therapies Team, using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to treat depression and anxiety. Joanne holds an MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Northumbria University and a BSc (Hons) in Applied Psychology from the University of Durham. Away from the office, Joanne is a hockey player and junior coach.





  • MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • PGCert in Low Intensity Psychological Therapies (IAPT)
  • BSc (Hons) in Applied Psychology

Overview of Doctoral Research

Exploring the positive social factors associated with student and student-athlete alcohol consumption.

Joanne is a third year PhD candidate at Northumbria University exploring the positive social factors which underpin and maintain student drinking behaviour. Joanne is interested in the role of positive social benefits and motives, namely social belonging and popularity, which students and student-athletes associate with alcohol consumption. During her PhD, Joanne has adopted both quantitative and qualitative approaches, and her final study is using social network analysis to explore popularity and alcohol consumption among student-athletes who participate in team sports. Joanne’s work to date has provided an insight into the culture surrounding alcohol and sport at university, highlighting the complex role of alcohol in the social lives of student-athletes and the impact of drinking choices on athlete mental health. It is envisaged that findings from this research will inform socially orientated alcohol interventions, and encourage coaches and practitioners to consider the implications of such ‘off pitch’ activities on the mental as well as the physical health of athletes.


Smith, J., Scott-Bell, A., Partington, E. & Partington, S. (2016). The impact of drinking behaviour on student-athlete mental health and wellbeing. Symposium presentation to the British Psychological Society’s Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology Annual Conference. Cardiff, December 2016.

Smith, J., Partington, S., Partington E., Longstaff, F. & Heather, N. (2016). Exploring the role of social belonging and popularity in UK student drinking behaviour. Poster presentation at the Society for the Study of Addiction Annual Symposium. York, November 2016.

Smith, J., Partington, S., Partington, E., Longstaff, F. & Heather, N. (2015). Exploring the role of social factors in student-athlete drinking behaviour. Poster presentation to the British Psychological Society’s Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology Annual Conference. Leeds, December 2015.

PGR Supervision

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