Gretchen Kerr

Gretchen Kerr, Dean and Professor, Athlete Maltreatment

  • Dean and Professor, Athlete Maltreatment
Office of the Dean
55 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2W6

About Gretchen

Academic Training

PhD, University of Toronto, Community Health (Exercise Science), 1989

MA, York University, Physical Education, 1985

BPHE, University of Toronto, Physical and Health Education,1982 

Research Interests

Maltreatment in youth sport

Coaching practices and coach education

Women in coaching


Watch video of Professor Kerr and her colleague from KPE, Associate Professor Ashley Stirling, discuss their research into athlete maltreatment

Selected Publications

Peer-reviewed Publications

MacPherson, Ellen & Kerr, G. (2020). Online public shaming of professional athletes: Gender matters. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 101782.

Banwell, Jenessa & Kerr, G & Stirling, Ashley. (2020). Benefits of a female coach mentorship programme on women coaches’ development: an ecological perspective. Sports Coaching Review. 1-23.

Kerr, G & Kidd, Bruce & Donnelly, Peter. (2020). One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: The Struggle for Child Protection in Canadian Sport. Social Sciences. 9. 68.

Gurgis, Joseph & Kerr, G & Stirling, Ashley. (2020). Investigating the Barriers and Facilitators to Achieving Coaching Certification. International Sport Coaching Journal. 7. 1-11.

Kerr, G & Willson, Erin & Stirling, Ashley. (2020). “It Was the Worst Time in My Life”: The Effects of Emotionally Abusive Coaching on Female Canadian National Team Athletes. Women in Sport and     Physical Activity Journal. 28. 81-89.

Kerr, G & Battaglia, Anthony & Stirling, Ashley & Bandealy, Ahad. (2020). Examining Coaches’ Perspectives on the Use of Exercise as Punishment. International Sport Coaching Journal. 7.

Kerr, G., & Stirling, A. (2019; Invited). Where is safeguarding in sport psychology research and practice? Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. 31(4), 367-384. 

Jewett, R., Kerr, G., & Tamminen, K. (2019). University sport retirement and athlete mental health: A narrative analysis. Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise. 11(3), 416-433. 

Kerr, G., Battaglia, A., & Stirling, A. (2019). Maltreatment in youth sport: A systematic issue. Kinesiology Review. 8(3), 237-243. 

MacPherson, E. & Kerr, G. (2019). Sports fans' responses on social media to professional athletes' norm violations. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 10.2080/1612197X.2019.1623283 

Mishna, F., Kerr, G., McInroy, L., & MacPherson, E. (2019). Student athletes' experiences of bullying in intercollegiate sport. Journal for the Study of Sport and Athletes in Education. 13(1), 53-73. 


edited Books

Kerr, R., Barker-Ruchti, N., Stewart, C. & Kerr, G. (Eds.). (2020). Women’s Artistic Gymnastics: Socio-Cultural Perspectives. Routledge Press.

Book Chapters (* Indicates Graduate student)

Kerr, G., Stirling, A., Willson, E. (2020). When the coach-athlete relationship influences vulnerability to sexual abuse of female artistic gymnasts. In R. Kerr, N. Ruchti-Barker, Stewart, C., & G. Kerr (Eds.). Women’s Artistic Gymnastics: Socio-Cultural Perspectives. London: Routledge.

*Gurgis, J., Kerr, G., & Stirling, A. (2020). Advancing autonomy-supportive coaching through the application of the transtheoretical model. In M. Lang (Ed.), Handbook of athlete welfare. London: Routledge.

Kerr, G., Stirling, A., & *Joseph Gurgis. (2017). In S. Pill (Ed.). An athlete-centred approach to enhance thriving within athletes and coaches. Perspectives on Athlete-Centred Coaching. (pp. 24-35). London: Routledge.

Kerr, G., Stirling, A., & *MacPherson, E. (2017). An Ethic of Care approach to sport psychology for young athletes. In C. Knight, C. Harwood, & D. Gould (Eds). Sport Psychology for Young Athletes. London: Routledge.

Kerr, G., & Stirling, A. (2017). Issues of maltreatment in high performance athlete development: Mental toughness as a threat to athlete welfare (pp.409-420). In J. Baker, S. Cobley, J. Schorer & N. Wattie (Eds.). The Handbook of Talent Identification and Development in Sport. New York: Routledge.

Currently Funded Projects

Kerr, G., & Demers, G. (2020-22). Gender Equity in Sport Research Hub. Heritage Canada (Sport Canada). ($1.65m).

Kerr, G., & Stirling, A. (2019-2024). Preventing and addressing gender-based violence in sport: The health perspective program. Coaching Association of Canada. ($373,200). 

Kerr, G., & Stirling, A. (2018). An evaluation of Canadian and international safe sport initiatives. Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. ($10,000.00).

Kerr, G., & Stirling, A. (2018). An evaluation of the Respect in Sport activity leader module. Respect in Sport - Respect Group Inc. ($9,492.00).

Kerr, G., & Stirling, A. (2017). Development of "Mentorship Guides for Advancing Women in Coaching: Mentor, Mentee and Sport Administrators' Guides." Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport. ($42,020).