Key Research Interests and Expertise

Dr Warburton’s research interests are focused on understanding the dynamics of motivation, primarily in sport and physical education contexts. In pursuing this research area she draws on a range of perspectives from both social and developmental psychology. Key theoretical interests lie in Achievement Goal Theory and Self-Theories of Ability.

To date, Victoria’s research has examined changes in students’ motivation, specifically achievement goal striving, across the transition from primary to secondary school, during Key Stage 3 and also within specific activities in the physical education curriculum. She has explored the influence of changes in students’ perceptions of competence, implicit theories of ability, and perceptions of the teacher and peer climate on motivation, well-being, learning and achievement,

Victoria is currently focusing her research programme on the role of implicit theories of ability in motivation and three particular areas:

  • Developmental aspects of implicit theories of ability;
  • The antecedents of and the effects of changes in implicit theory adoption;
  • The effect of entity beliefs on motivation, learning and achievement.

Victoria would be keen to hear from potential students who would be interested in pursuing research in any of the above areas - e.g., MRes (Social Science in Research Methods), PhD and EdD students.

Her own research has been funded by the British Academy and she has collaborated on projects funded by Sport England. Victoria has also completed research consultancy for Active Norfolk for a project funded by Sport England examining the effective strategies for recruiting individuals into sport.

Victoria has also led other projects related to the psychology of physical education, sport and education. These include, the validation of a measure of teacher-student relationship quality in physical education and maths (with Dr Lee Beaumont, EDU; and Dr Sophia Jowett, Loughborough University). This project also explored the effects of teacher-student relationship quality on teachers’ and students’ motivation and well-being.

Victoria’s methodological expertise lies within the quantitative field, particularly longitudinal research design and data analysis, including multi-level modelling, structural equation modelling, and individual-change analyses.

Current research supervision responsibilities include:

  • Rebecca Tuff (PhD, 1st supervisor)
  • Jimmy Hupton (EdD, 1st supervisor)
  • James Newman (EdD, 1st supervisor)
  • Rosalia Peck (EdD, 1st supervisor)
  • Michael Bennett (EdD, 1st supervisor)
  • Krystal Bishop (MRes, 1st supervisor)
  • Josh Edwards (MRes, 1st supervisor)

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