Catherine Sabiston

Catherine Sabiston, Professor, Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Mental Health

  • Professor
  • Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Mental Health
  • Director, Mental Health and Physical Activity Research Centre
55 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2W6

About Catherine

Academic Training

Post-doctoral fellowship, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

PhD, School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia

MHK., Faculty of Human Kinetics, University of Windsor

BSc, School of Health and Human Performance, Dalhousie University 

Research Interests

Exercise and health psychology

Psychosocial determinants of health behaviour

Mental health

Body-related emotions

Physical self

Physical activity intervention

Physical activity measurement

Physical activity and cancer

Watch video of Catherine Sabiston and KPE colleagues Daniel Santa Mina and Linda Trinh discuss their exercise oncology research

Selected Publications

Identifying and exploring body-related self-conscious emotions and associations to health and well-being


C.M. Sabiston, E. Pila, P.R.E. Crocker, D.E. Mack, P.M. Wilson, J. Brunet, K.C. Kowalski (2020), Changes in body-related self-conscious emotions over time among youth female athletes, Body Image, Volume 32, Pages 24-33

Vani, M., Pila, E., & Sabiston, C. M. (2020). Body-related embarrassment: the overlooked self-conscious emotion. Body Image, 32, 14-23.

Gilchrist, J., Pila, E., Castonguay, A., Sabiston, C. M., & Mack, D. (2018). Body pride and physical activity: Differential associations between fitness- and appearance-related pride in young adult Canadians. Body Image, 27, 77-85.

Pila, E., Brunet, J., Crocker, P., Kowlaski, K., & Sabiston, C.M. (2016). Intrapersonal characteristics of body-related shame, guilt, pride and envy in Canadian adultsInternational Journal of Body Image, 16, 100-106. 


Lifestyle physical activity and emotional indicators of well-being in breast cancer survivors


Sabiston, C.M., Pila, E. and Gilchrist, J.D. (2020). Self‐Conscious Emotions in Sport and Exercise. In Handbook of Sport Psychology

DeJonge, M. L., Omran, J., Faulkner, G., & Sabiston, C. M (2020) University students' and clinicians’ beliefs and attitudes towards physical activity for mental health, Mental Health and Physical Activity, Volume 18

Brunet, J., O’Loughlin, J., Gunnell, K., & Sabiston, C. M. (2017). Physical activity and depressive symptoms after breast cancer: Cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships. Health Psychology, 37(1), 14-23.

Sabiston, C. M., Jewett, R., Ashdown-Franks, G., Brunet, J., Belanger, M., O’Loughlin, E., & O’Loughlin, J. (2016). Number of years of team sport participation during adolescence and depression in adulthoodJournal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 38(1), 105-110. 


Measurement issues and reviews


Castonguay, A., Sabiston, C. M., Kowalski, K., & Wilson, P. (2016). Introducing an instrument to measure body and fitness-related self-conscious emotions: The BSE-FIT. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 23, 1-12.

Amireault, S. Godin, G., Lacombe, J., & Sabiston, C. M. (2015). Validation of the Godin-Shephard Leisure-time Physical Activity Questionnaire classification coding system using accelerometer assessment among breast cancer survivors.Journal of Cancer Survivorship (Available online), 1-9. 

Garcia, E., Sabiston, C. M., & Wilson, P. M. (2015). The interpersonal context in youth sport questionnaireInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 13, 1-19. 

Castonguay, A., Mack, D. E., Crocker, P. R. E., & Sabiston, C. M. (2014). Development and validation of the Body-related Self-Conscious Emotions Scale (BASES). Body Image: An International Journal, 11, 126-136.


Currently Funded Projects

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

Canadian Foundation for Innovation

Supervised Theses


Melissa deJonge - (2018-2020) Area of interest: mental health, campus health, physical activity prescription practices

Alyona Koulanova - (2017-2019) Area of interest: mental health, physical activity, social support

Amy Nesbitt - (2017-2018) Area of interest: body image, mental health

Garcia Ashdown-Franks - (2016 - 2018) Area of interest: mental illness, physical activity

Douglas Rosa - (2016 - 2018) Area of interest: gender differences, fitness, health, motivation

David DiFonzo - (2015 - 2017) Area of interest: physical activity, immune function, mental health

Madison Vani - (2015 - 2017) Area of Interest: stress, self-conscious emotions, body image

Holly Howe - (2014-2016) Area of interest: women’s health, weight training, mental illness (SSHRC)

Jason Lacombe - (2013-2015) Area of interest: breast cancer, sedentary behaviour, mental health (CIHR)


Melissa deJonge - (2020 - ) Area of interest: mental health, physical activity, campus health

David Brown - (2020 - ) Area of interest: body image, sport, supportive resources

Kristen Lucibello - (2018 - ) Area of interest: weight stigma, body image, physical activity

Garcia Ashdown-Franks - (2018 - ) Area of interest: mental illness, stigma, physical activity

Madison Vani - (2017 - ) Area of interest: body image, young adult cancer survivors, physical activity

Anika Gentile - (2015 - 2019) Area of interest: men's health, cancer, sport participation

Jenna Gilchrist - (2013 - 2017) Area of interest: body-related emotion, pride, well-being, physical activity (SSHRC)

Eva Pila - (2013 - 2017) Area of interest: mental health, body image, stress (SSHRC)

Angela Fong - (2013 - 2017) Area of Interest: Cancer, physical activity, knowledge translation

Tanya Scarapicchia - (2012 - 2016) Area of Interest: Social Contagion, physical activity motivation, social support, public health

Professional Memberships

North American Society for Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA)

Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)

Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology (SCAPPS)