Miss Sarah Kennedy
Post Doctoral Lecturer
School of Education
- Phone:(02) 49217439
- Master of Teaching (Primary), University of Newcastle
- Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Newcastle
- Master of Exercise Science, Edith Cowan University
- Physical Activity
- Resistance Training
- exercise science
- implementation science
- school-based health promotion
|Title||Organisation / Department|
|Post Doctoral Lecturer||University of Newcastle
School of Education
For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.
Chapter (1 outputs)
Kennedy S, McKay H, Naylor PJ, Lubans D, 'Implementation and scale-up of school-based physical activity interventions', The Routledge Handbook of Youth Physical Activity, Routledge, Oxfordshire (2020)
Journal article (17 outputs)
Janssen A, Leahy AA, Diallo TMO, Smith JJ, Kennedy SG, Eather N, et al., 'Cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular fitness and mental health in older adolescents: A multi-level cross-sectional analysis', PREVENTIVE MEDICINE, 132 (2020) [C1]
Mavilidi MF, Mason C, Leahy AA, Kennedy SG, Eather N, Hillman CH, et al., 'Effect of a Time-Efficient Physical Activity Intervention on Senior School Students On-Task Behaviour and Subjective Vitality: the Burn 2 Learn Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial', Educational Psychology Review, (2020)
© 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Despite well-established benefits, the majority of young people around the globe are not sufficiently active... [more]
© 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Despite well-established benefits, the majority of young people around the globe are not sufficiently active. In many countries, including Australia, physical activity (i.e. physical education and school sport) is not mandatory in the final two¿years of high school (i.e. senior school years). The aim of this study was to assess the impact of a time-efficient physical activity intervention on senior school students¿ on-task behaviour and subjective vitality. This was a sub-study of the Burn 2 Learn (B2L) cluster randomised controlled trial, which included two cohorts. Participants for this sub-study (N = 221) were from 10 secondary schools (23 classes) located in New South Wales, Australia (Cohort 2). Teachers allocated to the B2L intervention group were provided with training, resources and support to facilitate the delivery of two high-intensity activity breaks per week during lesson time for five¿weeks. A wait-list control was used as comparison group. On-task behaviour was assessed at baseline and post-test, using a momentary time sampling procedure and expressed as a percentage of lesson time. At post-test, subjective vitality was assessed at the start and end of the lesson using a validated questionnaire. Significant group-by-time effects were observed for students¿ on-task behaviour in favour of the B2L group [adjusted mean difference = 19.3% of lesson time (95% CI, 0.8 to 37.8), p = 0.042, d = 0.43]. At post-test, significant group-by-time effects were observed for students¿ subjective vitality favouring the B2L group [adjusted mean difference = 0.67¿units (95% CI, 0.3 to 1.0), p < 0.001, d = 0.36]. The B2L intervention was successful in improving senior school students¿ on-task behaviour and their subjective vitality. These findings highlight the potential academic benefits of re-allocating curriculum time to physical activity during the senior school years.
Faria WF, Mendonça FR, Santos GC, Kennedy SG, Elias RGM, Stabelini Neto A, 'Effects of 2 Methods of Combined Training on Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Trial.', Pediatr Exerc Sci, 1-10 (2020)
Reilly KL, Kennedy S, Porter G, Estabrooks P, 'Comparing, Contrasting, and Integrating Dissemination and Implementation Outcomes Included in the RE-AIM and Implementation Outcomes Frameworks', Frontiers in Public Health, 8 1-9 (2020) [C1]
Kennedy SG, Peralta LR, Lubans DR, Foweather L, Smith JJ, 'Implementing a school-based physical activity program: process evaluation and impact on teachers confidence, perceived barriers and self-perceptions', Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 24 233-248 (2019) [C1]
© 2019, © 2019 Association for Physical Education. Introduction: Secondary schools have the potential to promote health-related fitness (HRF) and physical activity within and outs... [more]
© 2019, © 2019 Association for Physical Education. Introduction: Secondary schools have the potential to promote health-related fitness (HRF) and physical activity within and outside school hours. As such, schools are often chosen as the setting to implement child and adolescent physical activity programs. School-based programs often utilise teachers as delivery agents, but few studies examine effects on teacher-level outcomes. Purpose: The primary aim of this study was to determine the impact of teacher training embedded within a physical activity intervention on teacher-level outcomes. The secondary aim of this study was to evaluate process data, including implementation, satisfaction and fidelity. Methods:Resistance Training for Teens (RT for Teens) was evaluated using a cluster randomised controlled trial in 16 secondary schools. Teachers (N = 44; 48% female/52% male; mean ± SD years teaching experience = 10.6 ± 8.0) from 16 secondary schools were assessed at baseline. Intervention group teachers (i.e. from eight schools) delivered a structured school-based physical activity program over 10-weeks. Teacher outcomes included confidence to teach health-related fitness (HRF) activities, perceived barriers to teaching HRF activities, and perceived fitness. Detailed process evaluation data were also collected. Assessments were conducted at baseline and 6-months (post-program), and outcomes were assessed using repeated measures analysis of variance. Results: There was a positive group-by-time effect for the confidence composite score (p =.010, partial eta squared = 0.29), but no effects for the two (contextual, interpersonal) barrier composite scores. Also, there was a significant effect for perceived ¿general fitness¿ (p = 0.044, partial eta squared = 0.13), but not for specific fitness subdomains. Teachers were highly satisfied with both the training and the program, believing it was beneficial for students. Resource usage and adherence to the SAAFE (Supportive, Active, Autonomous, Fair, Enjoyable) delivery principles was high. Conclusion:RT for Teens improved teachers¿ confidence and perceived fitness. These findings highlight the potential for high-quality teacher training and program delivery to positively influence teacher-level outcomes. This may provide support for the use of teacher professional development to improve HRF-related pedagogy.
Plotnikoff RC, Costigan SA, Kennedy SG, Robards SL, Germov J, Wild C, 'Efficacy of interventions targeting alcohol, drug and smoking behaviors in university and college students: A review of randomized controlled trials', Journal of American College Health, 67 68-84 (2019) [C1]
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of interventions targeting alcohol consumption, drug use and smoking for college/univers... [more]
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of interventions targeting alcohol consumption, drug use and smoking for college/university students.Participants: College/University students.Methods: Studies were eligible if: (1)included students attending universities/colleges; (2)implemented in a university/college setting; (3)aimed to improve at least one of the following behaviors: alcohol and/or drug use and/or smoking; (4)were RCTs. The effect of the interventions on behaviors was determined by the percentage of studies that reported an effect. Due to the heterogeneity of outcomes meta-analysis was not conducted.Results: 88 studies met criteria. University-based interventions were effective for reducing alcohol-related outcomes (drinking patterns, BAC, consequences, problem drinking). Inconsistent findings for drug and smoking were observed.Conclusions: University-based interventions have the potential to improve health for students. While there is a breadth of research examining the efficacy of interventions to reduce alcohol consumption, further research is needed to determine the best approach for addressing smoking and drug use among students.
Kennedy SG, Smith JJ, Morgan PJ, Peralta LR, Hilland TA, Eather N, et al., 'Implementing Resistance Training in Secondary Schools: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial', Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 50 62-72 (2018) [C1]
© 2017 by the American College of Sports Medicine. Purpose: Guidelines recommend that young people engage in muscle-strengthening activities on at least 3 dIwkj1. The purpose of t... [more]
© 2017 by the American College of Sports Medicine. Purpose: Guidelines recommend that young people engage in muscle-strengthening activities on at least 3 dIwkj1. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a school-based intervention focused on resistance training (RT) for adolescents. Methods: The ''Resistance Training for Teens'' intervention was evaluated using a cluster-randomized, controlled trial with 607 adolescents (50.1% girls; 14.1 T 0.5 yr) from 16 secondary schools. Teachers were trained to deliver the intervention, which included the following: (i) an interactive student seminar; (ii) a structured physical activity program, focused on RT; (iii) lunchtime fitness sessions; and (iv) Web-based smartphone apps. The primary outcome was muscular fitness (MF) and secondary outcomes included body mass index, RT skill competency, flexibility, physical activity, self-efficacy, and motivation. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 6 months (postprogram; primary end point), and 12 months (follow-up). Outcomes were assessed using linear mixed models, with three potential moderators tested using interaction terms (and subgroup analyses where appropriate). Results: For the primary outcome (MF), a group-time effect was observed at 6 months for the upper body (2.0 repetitions; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.8-3.2), but not the lower body (j1.4 cm; 95% CI, j4.7-1.9). At 6 months, there were intervention effects for RT skill competency and self-efficacy, but no other secondary outcomes. Effects for upper body MF and RT skill competency were sustained at 12 months. Despite overall no effect for body mass index, there was a group-time effect at 12 months among students whowere overweight/obese at baseline (j0.55 kgImj2; 95% CI, j1.01 toj0.08). Conclusions: The school-based RT intervention resulted in immediate and sustained improvements in upper body MF and RT skill competency, demonstrating an effective and scalable approach to delivering RT within secondary schools.
Smith JJ, Beauchamp MR, Faulkner G, Morgan PJ, Kennedy SG, Lubans DR, 'Intervention effects and mediators of well-being in a school-based physical activity program for adolescents: The Resistance Training for Teens cluster RCT', Mental Health and Physical Activity, 15 88-94 (2018) [C1]
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Objective: To examine the impact of a school-based physical activity intervention on adolescents' self-esteem and subjective well-being, and to explore mo... [more]
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Objective: To examine the impact of a school-based physical activity intervention on adolescents' self-esteem and subjective well-being, and to explore moderators and mediators of intervention effects. Methods: Resistance Training for Teens was evaluated using a cluster RCT in 16 schools located in New South Wales, Australia. Adolescents (N = 508; 14.1 ± 0.5 years; 49.6% female) completed measures of global self-esteem, subjective well-being, and hypothesized mediators (i.e., perceived fitness, resistance training self-efficacy, and autonomous motivation) at baseline (April¿June, 2015) and post-intervention (October¿December). The school-based physical activity program was delivered by teachers over 10-weeks via Physical Education, co-curricular school sport, or an elective subject known as Physical Activity and Sport Studies, and involved once-weekly fitness sessions and additional lunch-time sessions. Intervention effects and moderator analyses were tested using multi-level linear regression analyses with interaction terms. Multi-level mediation analyses were used to explore potential mediators of changes in well-being outcomes. Results: Intervention effects for self-esteem (ß = 0.05, p =.194) and wellbeing (ß = 0.03, p =.509) were not statistically significant. Moderator analyses showed effects for self-esteem were greater for the overweight/obese subgroup (p =.069 for interaction), and resistance training self-efficacy was a significant mediator of changes in self-esteem (product-of-coefficients [AB] = 0.021, SE = 0.010, 95% CIs = 0.002 to 0.040). No other significant indirect effects were observed. Conclusion: Overall, Resistance Training for Teens did not improve adolescents' self-esteem or subjective well-being. However, our mediation findings lend support to resistance training self-efficacy as a mechanism explaining the positive effect of resistance training on self-esteem.
Kennedy SG, Smith JJ, Morgan PJ, Peralta LR, Hilland TA, Eather N, et al., 'Implementing Resistance Training in Secondary Schools: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.', Med Sci Sports Exerc, 50 62-72 (2018)
Smith JJ, DeMarco M, Kennedy SG, Kelson M, Barnett LM, Faigenbaum AD, Lubans DR, 'Prevalence and correlates of resistance training skill competence in adolescents', Journal of Sports Sciences, 36 1241-1249 (2018) [C1]
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The aim of this study is to examine the prevalence and correlates of adolescents¿ resistance training (RT) skil... [more]
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The aim of this study is to examine the prevalence and correlates of adolescents¿ resistance training (RT) skill competence. Participants were 548 adolescents (14.1¿±¿0.5¿years) from 16 schools in New South Wales, Australia. RT skills were assessed using the Resistance Training Skills Battery. Demographics, BMI, muscular fitness, perceived strength, RT self-efficacy, and motivation for RT were also assessed. The proportion demonstrating ¿competence¿ and ¿near competence¿ in each of the six RT skills were calculated and sex differences explored. Associations between the combined RT skill score and potential correlates were examined using multi-level linear mixed models. Overall, the prevalence of competence was low (range¿=¿3.3% to 27.9%). Females outperformed males on the squat, lunge and overhead press, whereas males performed better on the push-up (p¿<.05). Significant associations were seen for a number of correlates, which largely differed by sex. Muscular fitness was moderately and positively associated with RT skills among both males (ß¿=¿0.34, 95%CIs¿=¿0.23 to 0.46) and females (ß¿=¿0.36, 95%CIs¿=¿0.23 to 0.48). Our findings support a link between RT skills and muscular fitness. Other associations were statistically significant but small in magnitude, and should therefore be interpreted cautiously.
Rhodes RE, Lubans DR, Karunamuni N, Kennedy S, Plotnikoff R, 'Factors associated with participation in resistance training: A systematic review', British Journal of Sports Medicine, 51 1466-1472 (2017) [C1]
© Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly ... [more]
© Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted. Objective Regular participation in resistance training (RT) is critical to health and recommended in most international physical activity guidelines. Few people, however, participate in RT. The purpose of this review was to assess the demographic, behavioural, intrapersonal, interpersonal and environmental factors associated with participating in RT. Data sources Eligible studies were from English peer-reviewed published articles that examined correlates or determinants of RT in adult samples. Searches were performed from August 2015 to April 2016 in six databases. Results We identified 51 independent data sets, from nine countries, primarily of moderate to high quality, and 23 factors related to participating in RT. Education, perceived health status, quality of life, affective judgements, self-efficacy, intention, self-regulation behaviours, subjective norm and programme leadership were associated with RT. Conclusion Low education levels and poor health status were associated with low participation rates in RT. Intrapersonal factors including affective judgements, self-efficacy, and self-regulation behaviours, and interpersonal factors including subjective norms and programme leadership may be important for promoting RT behaviours.
Costigan SA, Eather N, Plotnikoff RC, Taaffe DR, Pollock E, Kennedy SG, Lubans DR, 'Preliminary efficacy and feasibility of embedding high intensity interval training into the school day: A pilot randomized controlled trial', Preventive Medicine Reports, 2 973-979 (2015) [C1]
© 2015. Current physical activity and fitness levels among adolescents are low, increasing the risk of chronic disease. Although the efficacy of high intensity interval training (... [more]
© 2015. Current physical activity and fitness levels among adolescents are low, increasing the risk of chronic disease. Although the efficacy of high intensity interval training (HIIT) for improving metabolic health is now well established, it is not known if this type of activity can be effective to improve adolescent health. The primary aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness and feasibility of embedding HIIT into the school day. A 3-arm pilot randomized controlled trial was conducted in one secondary school in Newcastle, Australia. Participants (n= 65; mean age = 15.8(0.6) years) were randomized into one of three conditions: aerobic exercise program (AEP) (n = 21), resistance and aerobic exercise program (RAP) (n = 22) and control (n = 22). The 8-week intervention consisted of three HIIT sessions per week (8-10. min/session), delivered during physical education (PE) lessons or at lunchtime. Assessments were conducted at baseline and post-intervention to detect changes in cardiorespiratory fitness (multi-stage shuttle-run), muscular fitness (push-up, standing long jump tests), body composition (Body Mass Index (BMI), BMI-z scores, waist circumference) and physical activity motivation (questionnaire), by researchers blinded to treatment allocation. Intervention effects for outcomes were examined using linear mixed models, and Cohen's d effect sizes were reported. Participants in the AEP and RAP groups had moderate intervention effects for waist circumference (p = 0.024), BMI-z (p = 0.037) and BMI (not significant) in comparison to the control group. A small intervention effect was also evident for cardiorespiratory fitness in the RAP group.
Plotnikoff RC, Costigan SA, Williams RL, Hutchesson MJ, Kennedy SG, Robards SL, et al., 'Effectiveness of interventions targeting physical activity, nutrition and healthy weight for university and college students: A systematic review and meta-analysis', International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12 1-10 (2015) [C1]
© 2015 Plotnikoff et al.; licensee BioMed Central. To examine the effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving physical activity, diet, and/or weight-related behaviors amongs... [more]
© 2015 Plotnikoff et al.; licensee BioMed Central. To examine the effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving physical activity, diet, and/or weight-related behaviors amongst university/college students. Five online databases were searched (January 1970 to April 2014). Experimental study designs were eligible for inclusion. Data extraction was performed by one reviewer using a standardized form developed by the researchers and checked by a second reviewer. Data were described in a narrative synthesis and meta-analyses were conducted when appropriate. Study quality was also established. Forty-one studies were included; of these, 34 reported significant improvements in one of the key outcomes. Of the studies examining physical activity 18/29 yielded significant results, with meta-analysis demonstrating significant increases in moderate physical activity in intervention groups compared to control. Of the studies examining nutrition, 12/24 reported significantly improved outcomes; only 4/12 assessing weight loss outcomes found significant weight reduction. This appears to be the first systematic review of physical activity, diet and weight loss interventions targeting university and college students. Tertiary institutions are appropriate settings for implementing and evaluating lifestyle interventions, however more research is needed to improve such strategies.
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Grants and Funding
|Number of grants||1|
Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.
20171 grants / $59,091
Funding body: NSW Department of Education
|Funding body||NSW Department of Education|
|Project Team||Doctor Jordan Smith, Professor David Lubans, Miss Sarah Kennedy, Professor Philip Morgan, Mr Mike Noetel|
|Type Of Funding||C2120 - Aust Commonwealth - Other|
Miss Sarah Kennedy
Post Doctoral Lecturer
PRC Physical Activity and Nutrition
School of Education
Faculty of Education and Arts
|Building||Advanced Technology Centre|
Callaghan, NSW 2308