Dr Kitrina Douglas, Senior Research Fellow

Dr Kitrina Douglas

Senior Research Fellow

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.

Research Interests

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.

Dr Kitrina Douglas, Senior Research Fellow

Selected Outputs

  • Carless D; Douglas K (2018) In it for The Long Run: Researching Mental Health and Illness. In: Atkinson M ed. Sport, Mental Illness, and Sociology. Emerald Press,

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  • Douglas K; Carless D (2018) Golf and the promise of mental health and well-being for the elite and professional player. In: Toms M ed. Routledge international handbook of golf science. Routledge,

  • Douglas K; Carless D (2016) A golf programme for people with mental health problems. In: White A; Conrad D ed. Sports-based health interventions: Case studies from around the world. New York: Springer-Verlag, pp. 173-180.

  • Douglas K; Carless D (2016) Self-identity: Our most beautiful and creative project. In: Schinke R; McGannon K; Smith B ed. Routledge International Handbook of Sport Psychology. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 219-227.

  • Carless D; Douglas K (2016) Promoting mental health in youth sport. In: Holt NL ed. Positive youth development through sport (second edition). London: Routledge, pp. 217-226.

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  • Carless D; Douglas K (2016) The Bristol Active Life Project: Physical activity and sport for mental health. In: White A; Conrad D ed. Sports-based health interventions: Case studies from around the world. New York: Springer-Verlag, pp. 101-115.

  • Douglas K; Carless D (2015) ‘The dark side’ and beyond: Narrative inquiry in professional golf. In: Schinke R; McGannon K ed. The psychology of subculture in sport and physical activity: A critical approach. Hove: Routledge, pp. 64-77.

  • Douglas K; Carless D (2013) A history of autoethnographic inquiry. In: Holman Jones S; Adams T; Ellis C ed. The handbook of autoethnography. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press,

  • (2013) Contemporary British Autoethnography. . SensePublishers,

  • Douglas K (2012) Dances with Wolves. In: Dowling, F; Fitzgerald H ed. Equity and Difference in Physical Education, Youth Sport and Health: A Narrative Approach. (136-139) Routledge .. pp. 136-139.

  • Douglas K; Carless D (2011) A Narrative Perspective: Identity, Well-Being, and Trauma in Professional Sport. In: Gilbourne D; Andersen M ed. Critical Essays in Applied Sport Psychology. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, pp. 3-22.

  • Carless D; Douglas K; Ip J (2011) Ethics, Care and Truth in Education: A narrative Inquiry. In: Kentel J ed. Concerning the Education of Children and Youth: The Ethics of Care. London: Peter Lang.,

  • Carless D; Douglas K (2009) Songwriting and the creation of knowledge. In: Bartleet B; Ellis C ed. Musical Autoethnography: Creative explorations of the self through music. Australian Academic Press,

  • Douglas K; Carless D; Milnes K; Turner-Moore T; Tan J; Laredo E (2017) Autoethnographies and new technologies of representation: An example from F-COSTE, a funded project exploring bullying and sexual topics in education. In: International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, University of Illinois.

  • Douglas K (2014) Finding a Counter story at an Inclusive Adaptive Sport and Adventurous Training Course for Injured, Sick and Wounded Soldiers: Drawn In - Drawn Out. In: 23rd BSA Auto/Biography Summer Conference 2014: People and Places, 11 July 2014 - 13 July 2014, University of Oxford, UK.

  • Douglas K (2014) Drawn Out. Spotlight: Narrative and Performance. In: The Tenth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, 21 May 2014 - 24 May 2014, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


  • Douglas K (2002) Performance and practice of elite women European tour golfers during a pressure and non-pressure putting simulation. In: World Scientific Congress of Golf, St Andrews, Scotland. Routledge.

  • Douglas K (2002) Competition in women professional golfers. In: World Scientific Congress of Golf, St Andrews. Routledge.

  • Douglas K; Carless D. (2013) Heroes, Villains and Toxic Ferrets. 8 December 2013. Yorkshire Dance, Leeds:

  • Carless D; Douglas K. (2010) Under one roof. 1 October 2010. University of Wales Institute in Cardiff:

  • Douglas K; Carless D (In press) Life Story Research in Sport. Routledge.

  • Carless D; Douglas K (2010) Sport and Physical Activity for Mental Health. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.