Dr. Shaelyn Strachan

Assistant Professor
311 Max Bell Centre
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2
Phone: (204) 474-6363
Fax: (204) 474-7634
E-mail: shaelyn.strachan@umanitoba.ca

Areas of Research

  • Exercise psychology
  • Health psychology
  • Exercise adherence
  • Self and identity and health behaviours
  • Social psychology and health behaviours

Research Interests

The primary objective of my research is to promote health through adherence to physical activity. My research centers on self-related variables and the role of these construct in the self-regulation of exercise. For example, much of my recent research investigates how self-perceptions related to exercise, such as exercise identity, help people adhere to exercise. This theoretically-driven research program has been funded by a SSHRC grant and has employed prospective designs and real-world challenges to identify relationships between exercise identity, social cognitions, and exercise outcomes among adults. My research also engages experimental designs to investigate factors influencing how individuals react to challenges to their exercise identity. Presently I am investigating ways in which self-perceptions related to exercise such as exercise identity can be enhanced as a means of promoting physical activity among individuals. This line of investigation is currently funded by a Manitoba Medical Services Foundation grant and involves my graduate students.

Research Group Affiliations:

Health, Leisure and Human Performance Research Institute, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba


PERS 1200 Physical Activity, Health and Wellness

PERS 3350 Introduction to Research

PERS 7006 Current Issues in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure: Psychosocial Aspects

Selected Publications

Strachan, S.M. (2014). Exercise Identity. In. Robert C. Eklund and Gershon Tenenbaum (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Sage.

Strachan, S.M., & Whaley, D. (2013). The role of self-identity in understanding exercise behaviour. In. P. Ekkekakis (Ed.), Handbook of physical activity and mental health. Routledge.
Sweet, S.N., Fortier, M.S., Strachan, S.M., Blanchard, C.M., Boulay, P. (accepted) Testing a longitudinal integrated self-efficacy and self-determination theory model for physical activity post-cardiac rehabilitation.  Submitted to Health Psychology Research.

Moola, F., Norman, M., Petherick, L., & Strachan, S. (in press). Teaching across the lines of fault in psychology and sociology: Health, obesity and physical activity in the Canadian context. Sociology of Sport.

Perrier, M.J., Smith, B., Strachan, S.M., & Latimer-Cheung, A.E., (2014). Narratives of athletic identity after acquiring a permanent, physical disability. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly. 31, 106-124.

Berry, T., Strachan, S.M., & Verkooijen, K. (2013). The relationship between exercise schema and identity.  International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. pp. 1-15.

Giles, A.R., Strachan, S.M., Doucette, M., & Stadig G.S. Adaptation to aquatic risk due to climate change in Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Arctic (66), 207-217.

Strachan, S.M., Fortier, M., Perras, M. G. M., & Lugg, C. (2012). Understanding variations in strength of exercise identity: An identity theory and self-determination theory perspective. The International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology.

Sweet, S.N., Fortier, M.S., Strachan, S.M., & Blanchard, C.M. (2012). Testing and integrating self-determination theory in a physical activity context. Canadian Psychology, 53, 319-327.

Flora, P.K., Strachan, S.M., Spink, K.S., & Brawley, L.R. (2012). Exercise identity and attribution properties predict negative self-conscious emotions for exercise relapse. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 34, (5), 647-660.

Berry, T., & Strachan, S.M. (2012). Implicit and explicit exercise and sedentary identity. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. 83, 479-484

Strachan, S.M., Shields, C.A., Beatty, J., & Glassford, A. (2012). Is it who I am or who I am with that counts? The associations between runner and group identity with adjustment to running group disbandment. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 13, 4, 463-443.

Perrier, M.J., Sweet, S.N., Strachan, S.M., & Latimer-Cheung, A.E. (2012). I think, therefore I am: the addition of athletic identity to the Health Action Process Approach predicts sport participation for individuals with acquired physical disabilities. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 34(Suppl.), s271.

Strachan, S.M., Brawley, L.R., Spink, K.S., & Flora, P.K. (2011). Varying the cause of a challenge to exercise-identity behaviour: Reactions of individuals of differing identity strength. Journal of Health Psychology, 6, 572-583.

Strachan, S.M., Brawley, L. R., Spink, K., & Glazebrook, K. (2010). Older adults’ physically active identity: Relationships between social cognitions, physical activity and satisfaction with life. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 11, 114-121.

Giles, A., Strachan, S.M., Stadig, G. & Baker, A. (2010). “Don’t be scared, you don’t have to wear your lifejacket”: Using the theory of planned behaviour to understand lifejacket usage in Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. Polar Record, 46, (4) 328-335.

Strachan, S.M., Brawley, L.R., Spink, K., & Jung, M.E. (2009). Strength of exercise identity and identity-behaviour consistency: Affective and social cognitive relationships. The Journal of Health Psychology, 14, 1196-1206.

Strachan, S.M., & Brawley, L.R. (2009). Healthy-eater identity and self-efficacy predict healthy eating behaviour: A prospective view. The Journal of Health Psychology, 14, 684-695.

Spink, K., Strachan, S.M., & Oknodon, P. (2008). Understanding the relationship between parent and child physical activity: A social control approach. Social Influence, 3, 189 201.

Strachan, S.M., & Brawley, L.R. (2008). Reactions to a challenge to identity: A focus on exercise and healthy eating. The Journal of Health Psychology, 13, 575-588.

Strachan, S.M., & Brawley, L.R. (2007). Social cognitive reactions to considering participation in weight management interventions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37, 969-988.

Strachan, S.M., Woodgate, J., Brawley, L.R., & Tse, A. (2005). The relationship of self-efficacy and self-identity to the long-term maintenance of vigorous physical activity. Journal of Applied Biobehavioural Research, 10, 98-112.

Davis, C., Strachan, S.M., & Berkson, M. (2004). Sensitivity to reward: Implications for overeating and overweight. Appetite, 42, 131-138.

Davis, C., & Strachan, S.M. (2001). Elite female athletes with eating disorders: A study of psychopathological characteristics. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 23, 245-253.  

Current grad students
Laura Meade, MA candidate, University of Manitoba
Thesis topic: The role of shame and guilt in the self-regulation of exercise
Navjot Pachu, Ph D student, University of Manitoba
Thesis topic: TBD
Melanie Perras, Ph D candidate, University of Ottawa
Thesis topic: Physical activity among retirees