My overarching research interest is health promotion, particularly the promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviours such as physical activity, non-sedentariness (less sitting), and healthy eating among adults and adolescents. This interest is shaped by my own efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle, my academic background (e.g., PhD in applied social psychology; MA focus in sport psychology), and my previous 15 years of full-time employment as a Program Evaluation Specialist in Ontario Public Health Units. I conduct quantitative and qualitative research in several specific areas.
- Psychology of physical activity, sedentariness, and healthy eating: I conduct research on the prevalence, patterns, and correlates / determinants of healthy lifestyle behaviours. For example, I have done research to examine personal characteristics (e.g., demographics, perceptions, attitudes, self-efficacy, and motivation), social factors (e.g., significant others’ influence), and environmental factors (e.g., available and accessible resources and facilities) related to these behaviours.
- Promotion of dog walking: Many households have a dog but many dog owners don’t walk much with this furry family member. Promoting dog walking can be used as a strategy to encourage dog owners to achieve the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity. I have done research to identify factors that influence dog walking. I am keen about pursuing dog-walking research further given its potential to influence public health.
- Program evaluation related to the healthy lifestyle behaviours previously mentioned: Using psychological theories, I conduct research related to the development and implementation of interventions to improve healthy lifestyle behaviours.
Future Research Opportunities
Research focusing on (a) psychology of physical activity, sedentariness, and healthy eating, (b) promotion of dog walking, and (c) program evaluation related to physical activity, dog walking, sedentariness, and healthy eating.
I am an AHN faculty member but I am interested in advising both AHN and FRHD graduate students.
I am interested in students who are enthusiastic about my research interests presented below, have high competence in research methods and statistics, and have strong writing skills. If you have shared research interests and are interested in being advised by me, then I strongly encourage you to email me to discuss further before submitting your application to our graduate program.
PhD (applied social psychology with specialization in program evaluation), Department of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan, 1988.
MA (specialization in sport psychology), University of Western Ontario, 1984.
BEd, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1982.
BA (physical education), University of Western Ontario, 1981.
Burns, K.E.1, Dwyer, J.J.M., Coe, J.B., Tam, G.C.Y.2, & Wong, S.N.R.2 (in press). Qualitative pilot study of veterinarians’ perceptions of and experiences with counseling about dog walking in companion animal practice in southern Ontario. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education.
Allison, K.R., Vu-Nguyen, K., Ng, B., Schoueri-Mychasiw, N., Dwyer, J.J.M., Manson, H., Hobin, E., Manske, S., & Robertson, J. (2016). Evaluation of daily physical activity (DPA) policy implementation in Ontario: Surveys of elementary school administrators and teachers. BMC Public Health, 16(1), article 746.
Campbell, J.1, Dwyer, J.J.M., & Coe, J.B. (2016). Intervention mapping to develop a print resource for dog-walking promotion in Canada. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Online publication (October 25, 2016).
Dwyer, J.J.M., Starr, A.1, Mills, C.2, & Haines, J. (2016). Undergraduate, female, nutrition students’ perceptions of curricular influence on attitudes toward individuals with obesity. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research, 77(4), 177-182.
McPhail, C.1, Dwyer, J.J.M., Hanemaayer, R.2, & Preyde, M. (2016). The experience of parental cancer among emerging adult university students. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology. Online publication (December 23, 2016).
Note: 1Graduate student advised by me; 2undergraduate student advised by me.