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Maria Newton

Maria Newton, PhD

Academic Information

Departments Primary -

Academic Office Information

After spending my youth moving all over the United States I received undergraduate degrees from the University of California, Davis in Art History and Kinesiology. Even though I loved art history I certainly did not have the wardrobe to be a museum curator so I ventured on to graduate school in sport psychology. I received my Masters degree at the California State University, Chico and went on to earn my PhD from Purdue University. I arrived at the University of Utah in 2000 after being on faculty at the University of New Orleans for seven years. Even though I love Utah I have a soft spot for New Orleans and return every year to support the people and culture of Louisiana. I enjoy teaching sport and exercise psychology, sociology of sport, motivation as well as mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. I am an avid reader, swimmer, hiker, golfer and tennis player.

Research Statement

We are a nation of non-movers. In trying to understand and optimize motivation I am trying to learn how to support people in their efforts to move more, whether it is on the court, in the mountains, or in the fitness facilities. My slice of the motivational pie focuses on the role of the setting. Goals and values permeate every setting (e.g., trying hard is valued; being the best if valued) and influence motivation. I am interested in understanding how the perceived setting influences motivation. I have spent time with colleagues expanding current understanding about the climate. We have written extensively about the importance and value of creating a physical activity climate in which people (potential movers) feel valued, respected, and welcomed. We have termed this climate a caring climate. Recently funded research has explored the influence of the caring climate in interscholastic sport and dance. We are excited about conducting intervention work in both sport and exercise

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Newland A (10/10/2019). Transformational leadership and positive youth development in basketball. . 6, 30-41.
  2. Hall M (10/10/2019). The basic psychological need support in physical therapy questionnaire. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. Physiother Theory Pract, 1-10.
  3. Greviskes L (10/10/2019). Caring interactions in secondary prevention programs: A qualitative inquiry of individuals with parkinson’s disease. J Geriatr Phys Ther, 42(3), 167-175.
  4. England A (01/01/2019). The cognitive structure of the basketball free throw in adolescent physical education students. .
  5. Hammer C (11/02/2018). Cognitive processing following acquired disability for para sport athletes: a serial mediation model. Disabil Rehabil.
  6. Hammer C (11/02/2018). From core belief challenge to posttraumatic growth in para sport athletes: Moderated mediation by needs satisfaction and deliberate rumination. Disabil Rehabil.
  7. Greviskes LE (09/01/2018). Caring Rehabilitation Climate, The Tripartite Efficacy Framework, and Adherence to Rehabilitation Programs Among Individuals With Parkinson's Disease: A Multiple Mediation Analysis. J Geriatr Phys Ther.
  8. Brusseau TA (03/01/2018). Fit ‘n’ Cool Kids: The Effects of Peer-Modeling and Goal Setting on 3-5 Grade Children’s Physical Activity and Enjoyment. Open J Prev Med.
  9. Hall M (04/01/2017). Perceptions of the social psychological climate and sport commitment in adolescent athletes: A multilevel analysis. J Appl Sport Psychol, 29, 75-87.
  10. McLaren C (04/01/2017). Peer-initiated Motivational Climate and Group Cohesion in Youth Sport. J Appl Sport Psychol, 29, 88-100.
  11. Newland A (04/01/2017). College students' perceptions of the caring climate in group physical activity classes. 9, 99-106.
  12. Hammer C (04/01/2017). Understanding posttraumatic growth of paratriathletes with acquired disability. . Disabil Rehabil.
  13. McCormick BT (04/01/2016). The effects of frontal-plane and sagittal-plane plyometrics on change-of-direction speed and power in adolescent female basketball players. . Int J Sports Physiol Perform, 11, 102-107.
  14. Gonzalez S (04/01/2016). Validity and Reliability of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC) in Competitive Sport: Further Support of the 10-item Connor Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC-10). Psychol Sport Exerc, 23, 31-39.
  15. Goh TL (04/01/2016). Effects of a TAKE 10!® Classroom-Based Physical Activity Intervention on 3rd to 5th Grades Children’s On-task Behavior. 13, 712-718.
  16. Prewitt (09/01/2015).
  17. Prewitt SL (09/01/2015). Effect of the personalized system of instruction on health-related fitness knowledge and class time physical activity. 72, 23-39.
  18. Newland A (01/01/2015).
  19. Prewitt S (01/01/2015).
  20. Goh (10/2014).
  21. McCormick (10/2014).
  22. Stark A (01/2014).
  23. McCormick BT (01/2014).
  24. Prewitt S (11/2013).
  25. Podlog L (10/2013).
  26. Goh (09/2013).
  27. Podlog L (08/2013).
  28. Fu Y (06/15/2013). Influence of a health-related physical fitness model on students physical activity, perceived competence, and enjoyment.
  29. Podlog L (03/2013).
  30. McCormick BT (11/2012).
  31. Newland (11/2012).
  32. McCormick B (06/15/2012).
  33. Huang C (05/30/2012).
  34. Fry M (04/2012).
  35. Gonzalez (09/01/2011).
  36. Gao (05/01/2011).


  1. Fry Mary (10/10/2019). A coach’s guide to maximizing the youth sport experience- work hard, be kind. Routledge.

Book Chapter

  1. Newton (01/2014).
  2. Legg E (12/2012).
  3. Houston M (05/20/2011).


  1. Goh TL (03/2012). [Abstract].
  2. Goh TL (03/2012). [Abstract].
  3. Williams SM (03/2011). [Abstract].