Research at Leeds Beckett
Dr Kitrina Douglas
About Dr Kitrina Douglas
Kitrina joined our University in December 2013 on a 0.2 contract bringing a reservoir of research experience in the areas of elite and professional sport, physical activity and mental health.
She is an ambassador for the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), a member of the National Anti-doping panel for sport and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Bristol.
Given Kitrina played professional sport for 20 years it is perhaps unsurprising that she has an ongoing research interest in many of the problematic areas associated with performing at the top level in sport. These include; taboo issues, identity foreclosure and mental health problems.
Alongside her research in elite and professional sport Kitrina has used narrative approaches to explore physical activity, identity development and mental health in a number of other populations including women over the age of 60, residents of inner city council housing, walking groups, cardiac patients, dance groups and more recently on the multi-activity Battle Back course with injured, sick and wounded soldiers. Organisations for whom she has conducted research and evaluations for include the Department of Health, Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation, UK Sport, the Addiction Recovery Agency, the Royal British legion, YHA, Local authorities and NHS trusts.
Alongside her narrative and life history research Kitrina is among a small number of academics pioneering autoethnography, poetic, storytelling, songwriting, and performance methodologies as a way to explore how knowledge is created as well as a means of communicating this knowledge more effectively and to non-academic audiences.
She is a founder member of the first Network for Performative Research in Sport and Exercise, "the boomerang project" with colleagues from Leeds Beckett University, University of Hull and Liverpool John Moores.
Failure to develop or maintain a multi-dimensional identity in professional sport has been linked with a number of mental health issues which include; suicidal ideation, depression, self harming, and alcohol & substance misuse. Over the past decade the research of Dr David Carless has shed light on how the performance narrative in sport plays a significant role in limiting identity development, trauma, self harm and attempted suicide. We continue to explore ways athletes might challenge a dominant narrative through alternative and counterstories. Our research has been used by organisations that include UK Sport, Team Bath, The Professional Golfers Association, the English Golf Partnership - who have drawn on our research in developing athlete lifestyle, welfare and well being programmes.