Amanda J. Visek

Amanda J. Visek

Amanda J. Visek


Associate Professor

School: Milken Institute School of Public Health

Department: Exercise and Nutrition Sciences


Office Phone: 202-994-3997
950 New Hampshire Avenue, Suite 200, Office 208

Amanda J. Visek, PhD, CMPC is an Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., USA. Her translational approach to scientific research has focused on the application of pediatric sport psychology to issues of public health, namely improving child and adolescent health outcomes by establishing sport participation as a public health practice through safe, positive physical activity and human movement experiences that are fun.

Her federally funded, applied research includes the FUN MAPS, the latest sport science advancement capturing attention from local grassroots communities to national and international sport organizations. The FUN MAPS are the scientific blueprints for the fun integration theory, the first-ever fully conceptual framework for optimizing youth’s positive sport experiences, both in their childhood and through their adolescence. Her work has been featured nationally in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, ESPNW, the N.Y Times for Kids, U.S. News & World Report, National Public Radio, CBS Radio, ABC News, NBC News, NBC SportsFOX News and many others, while also being featured globally.

She has authored over 29 peer-reviewed papers, 7 book chapters, and given more than 145 refereed and invited talks around the world.

Dr. Visek is the recipient of career achievement awards from the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (2013; Dorothy V. Harris Memorial Award) and the American Psychological Association’s Division 47 (2014; Early Career Professional Award), organizations for which she has also served professionally in elected and appointed positions. She is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and a member for the United States Olympic Committee’s Sport Psychology & Mental Training Registry.

Behavioral Health

Exercise Science

Mental Health

Post-doctoral Fellow in Physical Activity in Public Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control & University of South Carolina, 2010
Doctor of Philosophy in Sport & Exercise Psychology, West Virginia University, 2007
Master of Arts in Counseling, West Virginia University, 2007
Master of Science in Sport Psychology, West Virginia University, 2004
Bachelor of Arts in Exercise and Sport Science, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2002
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2002

EXNS 2116: Exercise & Health Psychology, Department of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
EXNS 3123W: Psychology of Injury and Rehabilitation, Department of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
EXNS 6207: Sport & Exercise Psychology, Department of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
EXNS 6998: Thesis Research, Department of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences

At the international level, Dr. Visek was elected Division Head, Public Relations & Outreach to the Executive Board of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP); at the national level she was appointed Chair of the Science Committee for the American Psychological Association (APA), Division 47 Exercise & Sport Psychology. She is a very active member of the APA and AASP. She also serves as a reviewer for a number of scholarly journals in her discipline.

I am a scientist-practitioner; therefore, my translational approach to scientific research has focused on the application of pediatric sport psychology to issues of public health practice relevance. I am deeply committed to improving child and adolescent health by establishing sport participation as a public health practice through safe, positive physical activity and human movement experiences.

As a Physical Activity in Public Health Research Post-Doctoral Fellow, my research in the areas of youth sport sustainability has been dedicated to using innovative mixed-methods (i.e., concept mapping) to furthering our understanding of “fun” as a human movement experience through healthy, safe youth sport participation from data-driven concept maps called FUN MAPS. The FUN MAPS provide the scientific blueprints for the fun integration theory. This is significant to public health because physical activities that are fun are most likely to be sustained in childhood and through adolescence. That is, programs should be designed such that children want to participate in them. 

You can follow my sport-based fun research updates and join the discussion on Twitter by following me @ajvisek, #funintegrationtheory, #funmaps.


  • Visek, A. J., Mannix, H., Chandran, A., Cleary, S. D., McDonnell, K., & DiPietro, L. (e-pub ahead of print). Toward understanding youth athletes' fun priorities: An investigation of sex, age, and levels of play. Women in Sport & Physical Activity Journal. DOI: NIHMSID 1059321. PMCID Pending.
  • Visek, A. J., Blake, E. F., Otterbein, M., Chandran, A., & Sylvetsky, A. C. (2019). SWEET MAPS: A conceptualization of low-calorie sweetener consumption among young adults. Current Developments in Nutrition, 3(4), nzy103. DOI:
  • Jones, C., Visek, A. J., Chandran, A., Barron, M., & Hyman, M. (2018). Association between relative age effect and organizational practices of American youth football. Journal of Sport Sciences, 37(10), 1147-1153. DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1546545
  • Visek, A. J., Mannix, H., Chandran, A., Cleary, S., McDonnell, K., & DiPietro, L. (2018). Perceived importance of the fun integration theory’s factors and determinants: A comparison among players, parents, and coaches. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 13(6), 849-862. DOI: 10.1177/1747954118798057. PMCID: PMC6779170.
  • Visek, A. J., Achrati, S. M., Manning, H., McDonnell, K., Harris, B. S., & DiPietro, L. (2015). The fun integration theory: Towards sustaining children and adolescents sport participation. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 12(3), 424-433doi: 10.1123/jpah.2013-0180. PMCID: PMC24770788
  • Blom, L. C., Visek, A. J., & Harris, B. S. (2013). Triangulation in youth sport: Healthy partnerships among parents, coaches, and practitioners. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 4(2)86-96. doi: 10.1080/21520704.2012.763078. PMCID: PMC3804269
  • Harris, B. S., Blom, L. C., & Visek, A. J. (2013). Assessment in youth sport: Practical issues and best practice guidelines. The Sport Psychologist, 27, 201-211. PMCID: PMC3919511
  • Visek, A. J., Harris, B. S., & Blom, L. C. (2013). Mental training with youth sport teams: Developmental considerations and best-practice recommendations. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 4(1), 1-11. doi: 10.1080/21520704.2012.733910. PMCID: PMC3834981
  • Lubker, J. R., Visek, A. J., Watson, J. C., & Singpurwalla, D. (2012). Athletes’ preferred characteristics and qualifications of sport psychology practitioners: A consumer market analysis. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 24, 465-480. doi:10.1080/10413200.2012.694968
  • Olson, E. A.*, Visek, A. J., McDonnell, K. A., & DiPietro, L. (2012). Thinness expectations and weight cycling in a sample of middle-aged adults. Eating Behaviors, 13(2), 142-145. doi:10.1016/j.eatbeh.2011.11.013. PMCID: PMC3931130
  • Lentino, C.*, Visek, A. J., McDonnell, K. A., & DiPietro, L. (2012). Dog-walking is associated with a favorable risk profile independent of moderate to high volume physical activity. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 9, 414-420.
  • Inacio, M.*, DiPietro, L., Visek, A. J., & Miller, T. A. (2011). Influence of upper-body external loading on anaerobic exercise performance. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 25(4), 896-902.
  • Hurst, J. R., Thompson, A., Visek, A. J., Fisher, B., & Gaudreau, P. (2011). Towards a dispositional version of the coping inventory for competitive sport. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 42, 167-185.
  • Visek, A. J., Olson, E. A., & DiPietro, L. (2011). Factors predicting adherence to nine months of supervised exercise in healthy older women. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 8, 104-110. PMCID: PMC3049160
  • Visek, A. J., Watson, J. C., Hurst, J. R., & Maxwell, J. P., & Harris, B. S. (2010). Athletic identity and aggressiveness: A cross cultural analysis of the Athletic Identity Maintenance Model. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 8(2), 99-116.
  • Visek, A. J., Maxwell, J. P., Watson, J. C., & Hurst, J. R. (2010). A cross-cultural evaluation of the factorial invariance of the competitive aggressiveness and anger scale. Journal of Sport Behavior, 33(2), 218-237.
  • Harris, B. S., & Visek, A. J. (2010). Off the playing field and into the classroom: Evidence for implementing applied sport psychology courses on college campuses. Applied Research in Coaching and Athletics Annual, 25, 105-124.
  • Gallagher, D.*, DiPietro, L., Visek, A. J., Bancheri, J. & Miller, T. (2010). The effects of concurrent endurance and resistance training on 2,000 meter rowing ergometer times in collegiate male rowers. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 24(5), 1208-1214.
  • Grieve, F. R., Zapalac, R. K., Visek, A. J., Wann, D. L., Parker, P. M., Partidge, J., & Lanter, J. (2009). Identification with multiple sporting teams: How many teams do sport fans follow? Journal of Contemporary Athletics, 3(4), 283-294.
  • Weinfeldt, J. A.*, & Visek, A. J. (2009). Why college students enroll in exercise and sport activity classes: An exploratory investigation. Missouri APHERD Journal, 19, 64-76.
  • Visek, A. J., Harris, B. S., & Blom, L. C. (2009). Doing sport psychology: A youth sport consulting model for practitioners. The Sport Psychologist, 23, 271-291.
  • Maxwell, J. P., & Visek, A. J. (2009)Unsanctioned aggression in Rugby Union: Relationships among aggressiveness, anger, athletic identity, and professionalization. Aggressive Behavior, 35, 1-7.
  • Maxwell, J. P., Visek, A. J., & Moores, E. (2009). Anger and perceived legitimacy of aggression in male Hong Kong Chinese athletes: Effects of type of sport and level of competition. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10, 289-296.
  • Visek, A. J., Hurst, J. R., Maxwell, J. P., & Watson, J. C. (2008). A cross-cultural psychometric evaluation of the athletic identity measurement scale. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 20(4), 473-480.
  • Lubker, J.R., Visek, A. J., Geer, J.R., Watson, J.C. (2008). Characteristics of an effective sport psychology consultant: Perspectives from athletes and consultants. Journal of Sport Behavior, 31(2), 147-165.
  • Etzel, E. F., Watson, J. C., Visek, A. J., Maniar, S. D. (2006). Understanding and promoting college student-athlete health: Essential issues for student affairs professionals. NASPA Journal, 43(3), 518-546.
  • Lubker, J. R., Watson, J. C., Visek, A. J., Geer, J.R. (2005). Physical appearance and the perceived effectiveness of performance enhancement consultants. The Sport Psychologist, 19(4), 446-458.
  • Visek, A. J., & Watson, J. C. (2005). Ice hockey players’ legitimacy of aggression and professionalization of attitudes. The Sport Psychologist19(2)178-192.


  • Visek, A. J. (2012). In the huddle: The role sport and exercise psychology consultants play in the promotion of physical activity and wellness. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 3, 52-60. doi: 10.1080/21520704.2012.656007


  • Blom, L. C., Visek, A. J., & Harris, B. S. (2018). Applied exercise psychology: Children and adolescents. In S. Razon & M. L. Sachs (Eds.). Applied exercise psychology: The challenging journey from motivation to adherence. New York, Routledge.
  • Visek, A. J., Mannix, H. Mann, D., & Jones, C. (2018). Integrating fun in children’s sport experiences. In C. Knight, C. Harwood, & D. Gould (Eds). Sport psychology for young athletes. Routledge.
  • Harris, B. H., Blom, L. B., & Visek, A. J. (2018). The sport psychologist and the individual athlete. In C. Knight, C. Harwood, & D. Gould (Eds). Sport psychology for young athletes. Routledge.
  • Blom, L. C., Visek, A. J., & Harris, B. S. (2014). Ethics issues in youth sport and sport psychology services. In J. Watson & E. Etzel (Eds.). Ethical issues in sport, exercise, and performance psychology. Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology.
  • Wann, D. L., Grieve, F. G., Zapalac, R. K., Visek, A. J., Partridge, J. A., & Lanter, J. R. (2012). The importance of team identification in perceptions of trust of fellow and rival sport fans. In A.C. Earnheardt, P. M. Haridakis, & B. S. Hugenberg (Eds.). Sports Fans, Identity, and Socialization: Exploring the Fandemonium (pp. 79-90). Lanham, MD: Lexington.
  • Visek, A. J., & Maxwell, J. P. (2010). Sport as a cure for adolescent aggressive, antisocial, and delinquent behaviors. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice: Causes, Intervention, and Treatment Programs. Nova Science Publishers, Inc.: United States.
  • Harris, B. S., Visek, A. J., & Watson, J. C. (2009). Ethical decision making in sport psychology. In R. Schinke (Ed.). Contemporary Sport Psychology. Nova Science Publishers, Inc.: United States.