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Dr Kara-Aretha Graham

Lecturer in Sport

Applied Sport and Exercise Science

    Dr. Graham joined the University of East London in 2020 as a lecturer in Sport, from Texas Tech University where she was a Post Doctoral research fellow. Dr. Graham completed her Ph.D. in the College of Education and Kinesiology and Sport Management department, at Texas Tech University. Her dissertation focused on the experiences of female student athletes, using sport psychology practices to better understand their wellbeing. She was a NCAA Division one Student athlete at the University of Iowa. Held a coaching position at Missouri State University and was part of a $24,000,000 research grant that was awarded to Texas Tech by the United States government.

    Her international background experience allows her to bring a global, transitional and cross-cultural perspective to the department, as well as enhance the Universities commitment to diversity.

    British Psychological Society  - Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology
    American Educational Research Association
    Association for Applied Sport Psychology
    Ph.D. – CPsychol -Texas Tech University
    MSc. – Missouri State University
    BA – University of Iowa 
    East London Sport Global Sport Strategy – Theme 2
    UK Athletics Level 2 coach
    Texas Tech Deans Advisory Council 


    The overall scope of my research agenda lies in the field of sport psychology, with links to the female experience and their emotional wellbeing. The aim of my research is to enhance the experience of female athletes in male dominated domains, by bringing their experiences to the forefront of the discussion, using their own words. I have participated in research projects that have investigated the difference in sport satisfaction between male and female athletes in carrying age ranges. While these studies have been extensive in quantitative studies, taking a mixed method approach to the same questions is where I feel there is a gap in the literature.

    My future research agenda revolved around unpicking the master narrative of what it means to be a female athlete. The double standard placed on female athletes as they struggle with the stereotypical definitions of femininity, motherhood and beauty. Furthermore, the differences that female athletes of colour experience in countries like the USA and UK.  

    My most recent research

    - Student athlete satisfaction survey
    - A Bildungsroman of a University Lecturer
    - The lived experience of female student athletes – Hiding in plain sight
    - Black Lives matter – The painful silence of the black professional
    - The transitional experience of international students
    - COVID-19 and the athlete experience
    - The Fissiparous Project: Narratives of Black Professors at colonial-modelled universities in Canada, England, and the United States
    - Bakhtins Novelness – One voice of female student athletes and their perception of body image 


    • test


    - Graham, K-A. (2020) Intersection between the Past and Present – A personal narrative.
    The Caribbean Educational Research Journal (Accepted)
    - Lochbaum, M., Çetinkalp, Z. K., Graham, K.-A., Wright, T., & Zazo, R. (2016). A meta-analytic review of achievement goal orientation correlates in competitive sport: A follow-up to Lochbaum et al. Kinesiology, 48.
    - Lochbaum, M., Çetinkalp, Z. K., Graham, K.-A., Wright, T., & Zazo, R. (2016). Task and ego goal orientations in competitive sport: a quantitative review of the literature from 1989 to 2016. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 4(2), 264-173.

    - Graham, K-A. (2019). Unpicking the Master Narrative of NCAA Division I Female Student Athletes – What are we missing? Poster Presentation at AERA
    - Graham, K-A. (2019). The importance of reflexivity and collaboration in narrative inquiry. Paper presented at the Texas Tech University Education Graduate Student Organization
    - Graham, K-A. (2018). Standard Teacher Education Program Lived Experience. Paper presented at the Texas Tech University Education Graduate Student Organization Lubbock, Texas.
    - Graham, K-A. (2018) In Texas Tech Graduate Poster Presentation (2018) Athletes Alcohol Awareness
    - Graham, K-A. (2017). In The Thirteenth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Graduate Student Presenter in Kim, J.H Decentering the Self through the Method of Currere: Autobiography as Singularity. Panel Proposal accepted. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.



    - Applied Sport Psychology
    - The NCAA student athlete experience and the impact it can have on their emotional and mental health.
    - Women’s experience in sport (phenomenology)
    - Mental/emotional health and the impact on athletes
    - Phenomenology and sport – understanding the lived experience of athletes
    - Narrative and sport psychology – utilizing narrative methodologies to improve sport performance
    - Narrative Inquiry – using the methodology to explore the experiences of athletes



    - Athlete Management

    Module Leader for:

    - Psychological Influences on Health and Wellbeing in Sport and Physical Activity
    - Psychological Aspects of Sport and Exercise