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Juliette Stebbings

Senior Lecturer in Sport, Exercise and Health Psychology, University of Portsmouth

I joined The University of Portsmouth in 2018, following several years as Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, and as a Lecturer at Middlesex University. I obtained my undergraduate degree from the University of Birmingham, and my Master’s degree and PhD from Loughborough University. My PhD research focused on the precursors of sport coaches’ interpersonal behaviours and their interactions with their athletes, with a particular focus on coaches’ and athletes’ motivation, and psychological well- and ill-being.

My research interests focus on the role of sport and physical activity as a vehicle for physical, psychological, and social development in the community, predominantly with disadvantaged populations, such as disabled people, socio-economically disadvantaged young people, and young offenders.

The impact of sport for disadvantaged young people and young offenders:

I have worked with the charity StreetGames to validate and test the Empowering CoachingTM education programme within StreetGames Doorstep sport settings. This project examined the role of sport and coaching for disadvantaged young people’s motivation, well-being, life skills and pro- and antisocial behaviours in the community.

Another research project is designed to evaluate the impact of a ‘sports club’ delivery model in the secure estate. This project involves community sport partners delivering sports coaching (football and boxing) and mentoring support to young offenders in prison, and when released back into the community. The research aims to identify the role of community sports partners in delivering sport in prisons and how sport can best support people in desisting from crime after they are released. The objective of the research is to assess the effects of the sport club delivery on young offenders’ physical activity levels, life skill development, indices of social and psychological health, relationships with peers and staff, and levels of violence and aggression. The research also includes an assessment of the impact on the prison environment more widely.

Promoting the participation, training and employment of disabled people in the fitness industry:

In collaboration with the spinal cord injury charity Aspire and their InstructAbility programme, and Professor Brett Smith at the Durham University. We have created a series of Best Practice Guidelines for the training and employment disabled people within the fitness industry, and are now working to evaluate the effectiveness of these Guides in promoting equality and inclusivity within the fitness sector. The research involves disabled people with a wide range of impairments, national private- and public-sector leisure operators, training and qualification providers, and sector-wide organisations such as CIMSPA, ukactive, Community Leisure UK, and Activity Alliance.


  • 2018–2022
    Senior Lecturer, Sport Health and Exercise Psychology, University of Portsmouth
  • 2014–2018
    Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Birmingham
  • 2012–2014
    Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology , Middlesex University