Dr Maria Kavussanu PhD

Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Dr Maria Kavussanu

Contact details

Telephone +44 (0)121 414 4112

Fax +44 (0)121 414 4121

Email m.kavussanu@bham.ac.uk

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

About

Dr Maria Kavussanu is an expert on morality in sport. She has published extensively in this area and received funding for her research from the ESRC, The Nuffield Foundation, and the World Anti-Doping Agency. She is member of the ESRC Peer Review College, Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, and serves on the Editorial Board of three other journals. She is currently programme leader for the MSc and MRes in Sport and Exercise Sciences.

Feedback and office hours

Office hours: 11am-1pm

Qualifications

  • BSc (University of Athens, Greece)
  • MSc (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
  • PhD (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Biography

Dr Maria Kavussanu was born in Crete, Greece, where she lived until the age of 18. She studied Physical Education and Sport Science at the University of Athens, Greece. Maria continued her studies abroad after receiving a fellowship from the Greek National State Scholarships Foundation. She obtained a MSc. in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a PhD in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a PhD student, she received the student research award from the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, in 1995 and 1996.   

Maria worked as a lecturer at Illinois State University and then at Loughborough University prior to her appointment at the University of Birmingham in 2002. As a young lecturer, Maria received a poster award from the European College of Sports Science.   

Maria is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, where she teaches Psychological Foundations of Sport and Exercise. Maria had numerous administrative roles within the School of Sport & Exercise Sciences, including Year 3 and Year 2 tutor, Year 3 project organiser, Welfare and Careers officer, and member of the Graduate Research, Teaching, and Ethics Committees.

Teaching

Maria is module organiser of the Year 1 module Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology. She also supervises an average of 5-7 year 3 projects every year. In the past, Maria was module organiser for Sports Skills and Year-2 practicals and contributed to the PG Research Methods module.

Postgraduate supervision

Current PhD students

  • Xiaolei Shi

Former PhD students

  • Nick Stanger – Lecturer, Leeds Metropolitan University
  • Andrew Dewar – Teaching Fellow, University of Birmingham
  • Pepijn van de Pol – Lecturer, Radboud University, The Netherlands
  • Andrew Cooke – Lecturer, Bangor University
  • Ian Boardley – Lecturer, University of Birmingham
  • Rebecca Morris – Lecturer, Nottingham Trent University
  • Luke Sage – Lecturer, Coventry University
  • Edward Chow
  • Ali Alyaaribi

Research

Maria’s main research interest is morality in sport. She seeks to understand antecedents and consequences of prosocial and antisocial behaviour in sport. Some of the research questions Maria is trying to answer are: Why some athletes are inclined to cheat and be aggressive toward other players, whereas others refrain from such behaviours and like to play by the rules? Why some athletes are more likely to help their opponents and support their teammates? What are the consequences of such behaviours and how can we reduce antisocial and promote prosocial behaviour in the sport context?  

Maria is also interested in the antecedents and consequences of achievement goals in sport and the conditions that optimise athletes’ motivation in training and competition contexts. Some of her secondary interests  are performance under competitive pressure and parental influence in sport.

Research Grants

  • World Anti Doping Agency ($45,445). Project title: A cross-cultural approach to a cross-cultural issue: Psychosocial factors and doping in young athletes. Grant awarded to: Kavussanu, M. (PI), Elbe, A.M., & Hatzigeorgiadis, A.
  • Economic and Social Research Council (£99,961). Project title: The social and cognitive neuroscience of performance under pressure. Grant awarded to C.M. Ring (PI),M. Kavussanu, & R. Masters (2011)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (£99,913): Project title: Morality in sport: A social neuroscience perspective. Grant awarded to M. Kavussanu (PI) & C.M.  Ring (2008)
  • The Nuffield Foundation (£9,571). Project title: Observed antisocial behaviours in sport: Examining age and gender differences and exploring the underlying mechanisms. Grant awarded to M. Kavussanu (2007)

Other activities

Grant Applications Reviewer

Editorial Positions

Maria is Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, the official journal of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. She is also Associate Editor of the Encyclopedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Sage Publishers, edited by Tenenbaum, G. C. & Eklund, B. Finally, Maria serves on the Editorial Board of:

  • Psychology of Sport and Exercise – official journal of the European Federation of Sport Psychology
  • Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology – official journal of the American Psychological Association, Division 47
  • International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology

Publications

Book Chapters

  1. Kavussanu, M. (in press). Moral behavior. In R. J. Eklund & G. T. Tenenbaum (Eds), Sage Encyclopedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Sage Publishers. , M. (in press). Moral behavior. In R. J. Eklund & G. T. Tenenbaum (Eds), . Sage Publishers.
  2. Kavussanu, M., & Tenenbaum, G. (in press). Aggression. In R. J. Eklund & G. T. Tenenbaum (Eds), Sage Encyclopedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Sage Publishers.
  3. Kavussanu, M. (in press). Moral atmosphere. In R. J. Eklund & G. T. Tenenbaum (Eds), Sage Encyclopedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Sage Publishers.
  4. Kavussanu, M. (2012). Moral behavior in sport. In S. Murphy (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of sport and performance psychology (pp. 364-383). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  5. Kavussanu, M., & Boardley, I.D. (2012). Moral behavior. In G. Tenenbaum, R.J. Eklund, & A. Kamata (Eds.), Handbook of measurement in sport and exercise psychology (pp. 443-454). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  6. Kitsantas, A., & Kavussanu, M. (2011). Acquisition of sport knowledge and skill: The role of self-regulatory processes. In B. Zimmerman & D. Schunk (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation of learning and performance (pp. 217-233). London: Routledge.
  7. Kavussanu, M. (2007). Morality in sport. In S. Jowett & D. E. Lavallee (Eds.) Social psychology in sport (pp. 265-278). Champaign IL: Human Kinetics.
  8. Roberts, G.C., Treasure, D.C., & Kavussanu, M. (1997).  Motivation in physical activity contexts:  An achievement goal perspective.  In P.R. Pintrich & M. L. Maehr, (Eds.), Advances in motivation and achievement (pp. 413-447), Vol. 10. Greenwich, CT:  JAI Press.

Journal Articles

  1. Cooke, A., Kavussanu, M., Gallicchio, G., Willoughby, A., McIntyre, D., & Ring, C.M. (in press).  Preparation for action: Effects of expertise, outcome and pressure on psychophysiological activity preceding a motor skill. Psychophysiology.
  2. Dewar, A. J., Kavussanu, M., & Ring, C. (2013). The effect of achievement goals on emotions and performance in a competitive agility task. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 2, 250-264.
  3. Kavussanu, M., Boardley, I. D., Sagar, S., & Ring, C. M. (2013). Bracketed morality revisited: How do athletes behave in two contexts? Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 35, 449-463.
  4. Kavussanu, M., Stanger, N., & Boardley, I. D. (2013). The Prosocial and Antisocial Behavior in Sport Scale: Further evidence for construct validity and reliability. Journal of Sports Sciences, 31, 1208-1221.
  5. Ring, C. M., Kavussanu, M., & Willoughby, A. R. (2013). Emotional modulation of pain-related evoked potentials. Biological Psychology, 93, 373– 376.
  6. Martins, A. Q., Kavussanu, M., Willoughby, A., & Ring, C. (2013).  Moderate intensity exercise facilitates working memory. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 14, 323–328.
  7. Cooke, A., Kavussanu, M., McIntyre, D., & Ring, C. (2013). Effects of individual and team competitions on performance, emotions, and effort. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 35, 132-143.
  8. van de Pol, P.K.C., Kavussanu, M., & Ring, C. (2012). The effects of training and competition on achievement goals, motivational responses, and performance in a golf-putting task. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 34, 787-807.
  9. Kavussanu, M., Willoughby, A. R., & Ring, C. (2012). Moral identity and emotion in athletes. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 34, 695-714.
  10. Stanger, N., Kavussanu, M., Boardley, I.D., & Ring, C. (2012). The influence of moral disengagement and negative emotion on antisocial sport behavior. Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology, 2, 117-129.
  11. Dewar, A., & Kavussanu, M. (2012). Achievement goals and emotions in team sport athletes. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 1, 254-267. 
  12. Stanger, N., Kavussanu, M., Willoughby, A. R., & Ring, C. (2012). Psychophysiological responses to sport-specific affective images: A study of morality and emotion in athletes. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 13, 840-848.
  13. Stanger, N., Kavussanu, M., & Ring, C. (2012). Put yourself in their boots: Effects of empathy on emotion and aggression. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 34, 208-222.
  14. van de Pol, P.K.C., Kavussanu, M., & Ring, C. (2012). Goal orientations, perceived motivational climate, and motivational responses in football: A comparison between training and competition contexts. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 13, 491-499.
  15. van de Pol, P.K.C., & Kavussanu, M. (2012). Achievement motivation across training and competition in individual and team sports. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 1, 91-105
  16. Dewar, A., & Kavussanu, M. (2011). Achievement goals and emotions in golf: The mediating and moderating role of perceived performance. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 12, 525-532.
  17. Kavussanu, M., White, S. A., Jowett, S., & England, S. (2011). Elite and non-elite male footballers differ in goal orientation and perceived parental climate. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 9(3), 284-290.
  18. Boardley, I.D., & Kavussanu, M. (2011). Moral disengagement in sport. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 4(2), 93-108.
  19. Sagar, S, Boardley, I.D., & Kavussanu, M. (2011). Fear of failure and students’ interpersonal antisocial behaviour in education and sport. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 81(3), 391-408.
  20. Traclet, A., Romand, P., Moret, O., & Kavussanu, M. (2011). Antisocial behavior in soccer: A qualitative study of moral disengagement. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 9(2), 143–155.
  21. Cooke, A., Kavussanu, M., McIntyre, D., Boardley, I.D., & Ring, C. (2011). Effects of competitive pressure on expert performance: Underlying psychological, physiological and kinematic mechanisms. Psychophysiology, 48, 1146-1156.
  22. Cooke, A., Kavussanu, M., McIntyre, D., & Ring, C. (2011). Effects of competition on endurance performance and the underlying psychological and physiological mechanisms. Biological Psychology, 86, 370–378 
  23. van de Pol, P., & Kavussanu, M. (2011). Achievement goals and motivational consequences in tennis: Does the context matter? Psychology of Sport and Exercise 12, 176-183.
  24. Cooke, A., Kavussanu, M., McIntyre, D., & Ring, C. (2010). Psychological, muscular and kinematic factors mediate performance under pressure. Psychophysiology, 47, 1109–1118.
  25. Sage, L.D., & Kavussanu, M. (2010). Moral identity and social goals predict eudaimonia in football. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11, 461-466.
  26. Boardley, I. D., & Kavussanu, M. (2010). Effects of goal orientation and perceived value of toughness on antisocial behavior: The mediating role of moral disengagement. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 33, 176-192.
  27. Boardley, I. D., & Kavussanu, M. (2009). The influence of social variables and moral disengagement on prosocial and antisocial behaviours in field hockey and netball. Journal of Sports Sciences, 27(8), 843–854.
  28. Kavussanu, M., Morris, R. L., & Ring, C. (2009). Effects of achievement goals on performance, enjoyment and practice in a novel motor task. Journal of Sports Sciences, 27(12), 1281–1292.
  29. Morris, R. L., & Kavussanu, M. (2009). Approach-avoidance achievement goals in sport: Psychological correlates and a comparison with the dichotomous model. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 9, 185-202.
  30. Kavussanu, M., Stamp, R., Slade, G., & Ring, C. (2009). Observed prosocial and antisocial behaviors in male and female soccer players. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 21 (Supp. 1), S62-S76.
  31. Kavussanu, M., & Boardley, I. D. (2009). The Prosocial and Antisocial Behavior in Sport Scale. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 31, 97–117.
  32. Ring, C., Veldhuijzen van Zanten J. J. C. S., & Kavussanu, M. (2009). Effects of sex, phase of the menstrual cycle, and gonadal hormones on pain in healthy humans. Biological Psychology, 81, 189–191.
  33. Boardley, I. D., & Kavussanu, M. (2008). The Moral Disengagement in Sport Scale – Short. Journal of Sports Sciences, 26, 1507-1517.
  34. Kavussanu, M., Boardley, I. D., Jutkiewicz, N., Vincent, S., & Ring, C. (2008). Coaching efficacy and coaching effectiveness: Examining their predictors and comparing coaches’ and athletes’ reports. The Sport Psychologist, 22, 383-404.
  35. Boardley, I. D., Kavussanu, M., & Ring, C. (2008). Athletes' perceptions of coaching effectiveness and athlete-related outcomes in rugby union: An investigation based on the coaching efficacy model. The Sport Psychologist, 22, 269–287.
  36. Kavussanu, M. (2008). Moral behaviour in sport: A critical review of the literature. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 1, 124-138.
  37. Ring, C., Edwards, L., & Kavussanu, M. (2008). Effects of isometric exercise on pain are mediated by blood pressure. Biological Psychology, 78, 123-128.
  38. McIntyre, D., Kavussanu, M., & Ring, C. (2008). Effects of arterial and cardiopulmonary baroreceptor activation on the upper limb nociceptive flexion reflex and electrocutaneous pain in humans. Pain, 137, 550–555.
  39. Sage, L., & Kavussanu, M. (2008).Goal orientations, motivational climate, and prosocial and antisocial behaviour in youth football: Exploring their temporal stability and reciprocal relationships. Journal of Sports Sciences, 26, 717 – 732.
  40. Morris, R. L., & Kavussanu, M. (2008). Antecedents of approach-avoidance goals in sport. Journal of Sports Sciences, 26, 465-476.
  41. Sage, L., & Kavussanu, M. (2007). Multiple goal orientations as predictors of moral behavior in youth soccer. The Sport Psychologist, 21, 417-437.
  42. Kavussanu, M. (2007). The effects of goal orientations on global and physical self-esteem in physical education students. The Hellenic Journal of Psychology, 4, 111-132.
  43. Boardley, I. D., & Kavussanu, M. (2007). Development and validation of the Moral Disengagement in Sport Scale. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 29, 608-628. pdf (for personal use only)
  44. Sage, L., & Kavussanu, M. (2007). The effects of goal involvement on moral behavior in an experimentally manipulated competitive setting. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 29, 190-207. pdf (for personal use only)
  45. Kavussanu, M., Seal, A. R., & Phillips, D. R. (2006). Observed prosocial and antisocial behaviors in male soccer teams: Age differences across adolescence and the role of motivational variables. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 18, 326-344. pdf (for personal use only)
  46. Kavussanu, M., & Spray, C. M. (2006). Contextual influences on moral functioning of male football players. The Sport Psychologist, 20, 1-23.
  47. Kavussanu, M. (2006). Motivational predictors of prosocial and antisocial behaviour in football. Journal of Sports Sciences, 24(6), 575-588.
  48. Sage, L. D., Kavussanu, M., & Duda, J. L. (2006). Goal orientations and moral identity as predictors of prosocial and antisocial functioning in male association football players. Journal of Sports Sciences, 24(5), 455-466.
  49. White, S.A., Kavussanu, M., Tank, K., & Wingate, J. (2004).  Perceived parental beliefs about the causes of success in sport: Relationship to young athletes' achievement goals and personal beliefs.  Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 14(1), 57-66.
  50. Biddle, S.J.H., Wang, J., Kavussanu, M., & Spray, C.M. (2003). Correlates of achievement goal orientations in physical activity: A systematic review of research.  European Journal of Sports Science, 3(5), 1-19. 
  51. Hagger, M.S., Biddle, S.J.H., Chow, E.W., Stambulova, N. & Kavussanu, M. (2003). Physical self-perceptions in adolescence: Generalisability of a hierarchical multidimensional model across three cultures. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 34, 611-628.
  52. Kavussanu, M., & Ntoumanis, N.  (2003). Participation in sport and moral functioning: Does ego orientation mediate their relationship?  Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 25(4), 1-18.
  53. Kavussanu, M. (2002). Dimensions of morality and their determinants in sport. Psychology: The Journal of the Hellenic Psychological Society, 9(4), 514-530.
  54. Kavussanu, M., Roberts, G.C., & Ntoumanis, N. (2002).  Contextual influences on moral functioning of college basketball players.  The Sport Psychologist, 16, 347-367.
  55. Roberts, G.C., Kavussanu, M., & Sprague, R.L. (2001). Mentoring and the impact of the research climate.  Science and Engineering Ethics, 7, 525-537.
  56. Kavussanu, M., & Roberts, G.C. (2001). Moral functioning in sport: An achievement goal perspective. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 23, 37-54.
  57. Kavussanu, M., & Harnisch, D.L. (2000).  Self-esteem in children: Do goal orientations matter?  British Journal of Educational Psychology, 70(2), 229-242.
  58. White, S.A., Kavussanu, M., & Guest, S.M. (1998).  Goal orientations and perceptions of the motivational climate created by significant others.  European Journal of Physical Education, 3, 212-228.
  59. Kavussanu, M., Crews, D.J., & Gill, D.L. (1998).  The effects of single versus multiple measures of biofeedback on basketball free throw shooting performance.  International Journal of Sport Psychology, 29(2), 132-144.
  60. Ommundsen, Y., Roberts, G.C., & Kavussanu, M.  (1998). Perceived motivational climate and cognitive and affective correlates among team athletes.  Journal of Sports Sciences, 16(2), 153-164.
  61. Roberts, G.C., Treasure, D.C., & Kavussanu, M. (1996).  Orthogonality of achievement goals and its relationship to beliefs about success and satisfaction in sport.  The Sport Psychologist, 10(4), 398-408.
  62. Kavussanu, M., & Roberts, G.C. (1996).  Motivation in physical activity contexts:  The relationship of perceived motivational climate to intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy.  Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 18 (3), 264-280.
  63. Kavussanu, M., & McAuley, E. (1995).  Exercise and optimism:  Are highly active individuals more optimistic?  Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 17(3), 246-258.

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