Dr Francesca Cavallerio

Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Psychology and Sport Science

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Sport and exercise sciences

Research Supervision:Yes

Francesca is a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology with a focus on youth sport and sport injury. Her research area relates to athletes’ welfare and she is particularly interested in using creative and arts-based methods to represent and communicate research findings to reach a non-academic audience.

francesca.cavallerio@aru.ac.uk

Twitter: @youlia83

Instagram: @francavallerio

Researchgate: Francesca Cavallerio

Background

Francesca joined ARU in Janury 2017, following her completion of a PhD in Sport Psychology, focusing on the psychosocial aspects affecting the wellbeing of current and retired gymnasts at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

Before moving to the UK, Francesca lived in Italy, where she worked for 16 years as a L3 rhythmic gymnastics coach while studing for an MSc in Clinical Psychology. She then completed an MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology in London in 2012 and decided to continue a career in academia.

Alongside her work at ARU, Francesca continues to consult with a few gymnastics club in Cambridgeshire, London, and the South of England. These experiences are important both from a teaching perspective – being able to provide examples from real life scenarios – as well as from a research perspective.

Spoken Languages

  • English
  • Italian
  • French (intermediate)
  • Spanish (basic)

Research interests

  • Psychosocial aspects influencing health and well-being of (youth) athletes
  • Abuse in (youth) sport
  • The psychology of sport injury
  • Youth sport
  • Athletic retirement
  • Sustainability in high performance sport
  • Qualitative research methods / Arts based research

Areas of research supervision

Current PhD supervision

2020 - ongoing: Sharon Boswell, PhD; ‘Supporting Autistic children in sport through optimal parental behaviour: a grounded theory study’

2020 - ongoing: Clare Strongman, PhD; ‘The effect of exercise interventions on non-linear gait variability in people with peripheral neuropathy

2020 - ongoing: Michaela Kousalova, ProfDoc: ‘Understanding and supporting gymnasts’ parents’ experiences of daughter’s transition into competitive/high performance gymnastics’. (external; University of Portsmouth)

2019 - ongoing: Ashley Meggit, PhD; ‘Attachment Theory as a Framework for Examining the Elite Youth Athlete-Coach Narrative’

2019 - ongoing: Nicole Kimpton, PhD; ‘An investigation into the experiences of abuse and whistleblowing in youth sport’ (external; Swansea University)

2019 - ongoing: Tom Bates, ProfDoc; ‘What are the hallmarks of excellence in sport? Factors affecting the creation of high performance culture and Elite sport performance’

Teaching

Modules

  • Multidisciplinary Sport and Exercise Sciences 1 & 2
  • Practical delivery of Sport and Physical Education
  • Psychological Profiling in Sport
  • Applied Research Skills
  • Applied Sport Psychology
  • Contemporary Issues in Sport, Performance, and Exercise Psychology
  • Undergraduate Research Project
  • Contemporary Issues and Communication in Sport and Exercise

Qualifications

  • PhD Sport Psychology, St Mary’s University, Twickenham
  • MSc Sport Psychology, University of Roehampton
  • MSc Clinical and Community Psychology, University of Torino, Italy
  • BSc Psychology, University of Torino, Italy

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Chartered Psychologist, British Psychological Society
  • Chartered Psychologist, Italian Order of Psychologists
  • QRSE member
  • BASES member
  • FEPSAC member
  • Member of the Editorial Board for Sport and Exercise Psychology Review
  • Reviewer for peer-reviewed journals: Psychology of Sport and Exercise; Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health; International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology; Journal of Applied Sport Psychology; The Sport Psychologist; Journal of Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology; Journal of Sport Psychology; Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology; Sport and Exercise Psychology Review; Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal; European Journal for Sport and Society; Frontiers in Psychology (Movement Science and Sport Psychology); Journal of Sport and Social Issues

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Learning and Teaching Award 2019, Anglia Ruskin University: funding to conduct a research project entitled ‘Utilising ‘Letter to Younger Self’ research methodology to improve student engagement, retention, and future employability’.
  • British Psychological Society Early Career Conference Bursary: funding to present at the 15th European Congress of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Munster, Germany.
  • Learning and Teaching Award 2018, Anglia Ruskin University: funding to conduct a research project entitled ‘Enhancing students’ experience, engagement and academic performance through involvement in research: development of the Qualitative Inquiry Research Group’.

Selected recent publications

Cavallerio, F. (Ed.) in press. Creative Nonfiction in Sport and Exercise Research (London: Routledge).

Cavallerio, F., Wadey, R., Wagstaff, C. R. D., 2021. Impacting and being impacted by overuse injuries: An ethnodrama of parents’ experiences. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health. doi: 10.1080/2159676X.2021.1885480

Cavallerio, F., Kimpton, N., Knight, C. J., 2020. My daughter’s injured again...I just don’t know what to do anymore. In R. Wadey (ed), Critical perspectives in sport injury psychology (London: Routledge).

Barker-Ruchti, N., Booth, E., Cavallerio, F., Cervin, G., Dumitriu, D., Nunomura, M., Smits, F., 2020. Diversification of Women and Girls since the fall of Communism. In Kerr, R., Barker-Ruchti, N., Stewart, C., Kerr, G (eds), Women’s Artistic Gymnastics: Socio-cultural Perspectives (London: Routledge).

Cavallerio, F., Wadey, R., Wagstaff, C. R. D., 2020. Member reflections with elite coaches and gymnasts: looking back to look forward. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 12(1), pp. 48-62. doi: 10.1080/2159676X.2019.1625431

Cavallerio, F., McDonald, K., 2019. Changing sport and learning new rules and a new culture: experiences of a female professional rugby player. In Barker-Ruchti, N. (ed), Athlete learning in elite sport (London: Routledge).

Wadey, R., Day, M., Cavallerio, F., Martinelli, L., 2018. Multilevel Model of Sport Injury (MMSI): Can Coaches Impact and be Impacted by Injury? In Thelwell, R., Dicks, M. (eds), Professional advances in sport coaching: Research and practice (London: Routledge).

Irish, T., Cavallerio, F., McDonald, K., 2018. “Sport saved my life” but “I am tired of being an alien!”: Stories from the life of a deaf athlete. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 37, pp. 179-187. doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2017.10.007

Cavallerio, F., Wadey, R., Wagstaff, C. R. D., 2017. Adjusting to retirement from sport: narratives of former competitive rhythmic gymnasts, Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 9(5), pp. 533-545. doi: 10.1080/2159676X.2017.1335651

Cavallerio, F., Wadey, R., Wagstaff, C. R. D., 2016. Understanding overuse injuries in rhythmic gymnastics: A 12-month ethnographic study. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 25, pp. 100-109. doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2016.05.002

Mate, D., Marazzi, L., Cavallerio, F., 2013. Riabilitare la mente dopo un infortunio sportivo: applicare il metodo EMDR nello sport, [Rehabilitate the mind following sport injury: Using the EMDR method in sport]. Giornale Italiano di Psicologia dello Sport, 17(2), pp. 23-32.

Recent presentations and conferences

Cavallerio, F., 2019. “Using ethnodrama to encourage reflection: workshops to support youth sport parents”. Oral presentation at the 15th European Congress of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Munster, Germany.

Cavallerio, F., Wadey, R., & Wagstaff, C. R. D., 2018. “The coach looks like a crazy person!”: A confessional tale on sharing results and observing reactions. Oral presentation at the 6th International Conference on Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise, Vancouver, Canada.

Cavallerio, F., 2017. Doing qualitative research with injured adolescents: My confessions. Symposium, 14th World Congress of the International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP), Seville, Spain.

Cavallerio, F., Wadey, R., & Wagstaff, C. R. D., 2016. Ethnographic creative nonfictions of pain and overuse injuries in gymnastics. Oral presentation at the 5th International Conference on Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise, Chichester, UK.

Cavallerio, F., Wadey, R., & Wagstaff, C. R. D., 2016. Understanding the overuse injury process: Creative nonfiction of pain in gymnastics. Poster session at the 2016 Conference of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA), Montreal, Canada.

Media experience

Andy Murray: breaking away from sport’s ‘no pain, no gain’ cultureThe Conversation, 14 January 2019.