Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, PhD
Associate Professor, Sport and Exercise Psychology
Director of Graduate Studies
Areas of Interest
Sports medicine psychology, youth sport science, physical activity science
I have recently coined a new term for my primary line of research: "sports medicine psychology". I define this area as encompassing "multidisciplinary theory, research and practice in the psychological, behavioral and social aspects of injury prevention and injury experiences among physically active populations across the lifespan." Our Sports Medicine Psychology Lab group studies psychological and social factors that relate to physical activity injury risk, response and recovery, such as emotional responses of runners to sport injury, psychosocial aspects of injuries to military trainees, gender and sport injury, concussions and the female athlete, and the social pressures of conformity to playing with pain. My second major interest is what I call "youth sport science", which focuses on children, youth and adolescents in sport and the psychological, social, and physical factors that affect their health and well-being at all levels of participation. Over the past two years I have headed a federally funded study that has involved an exchange of coaching educators focused on training youth soccer coaches in Uganda. My affiliation with the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport has allowed me the chance to collaborate on multiple educational and civic engagement efforts geared towards youth sport science and the broader goal of developing physically active girls, an example of my third related focus on what I call "physical activity science". I rely on multiple perspectives, including those of scientist, parent, coach, and athlete, to inform my teaching, scholarship, and service in these three topic areas.
Graduate Education Responsibilities
- Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), School of Kinesiology
- Kinesiology Graduate Education Faculty
- Prevention Science Graduate Education Faculty
- Prevention Science Advisory Committee Member
- Sport Management Graduate Education Faculty
Center and Lab Affiliations
- Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, Affiliated Scholar
- Sports Medicine Psychology Lab, Director
- Minnesota Youth Sport Research Consortium, Co-Coordinator
- Physical Activity Social and Behavioral Science Research Focus Area
- CC-AASP (Certified Consultant, Association for Applied Sport Psychology)
School of Kinesiology
Room 220B Cooke H
1900 University Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
- Ph.D., University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 1989
Major: physical education; Emphases: social psychology of sport, biomechanics
- M.S., Springfield College, Springfield, MA, 1983
Major: physical education; Emphases: teaching and administration, biomechanics
- B.A., Luther College, Decorah, IA, 1980
Major: physical education; Emphasis: K-12 teaching physical education; Minors: health education, coaching
Research Interests and Biosketch
Sports Medicine Psychology, Youth Sport Science, Physical Activity Science
Diane M. Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Kinesiology-Sport & Exercise Psychology and Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis. At the University of Minnesota she is also affiliated with the Physical Activity Social & Behavioral Science focus area, Sports Medicine Psychology Lab, the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, the Minnesota Youth Sport Research Consortium, and the Prevention Science graduate program. She is co-editor of the book Counseling in Sports Medicine, and has served on editorial boards for theJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, and Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. Dr. Bjornstal is a fellow of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and of the Research Consortium of the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD), and is an AASP Certified Consultant in Sport Psychology. In 2009 she was named for a three year term to the Sport Science Advisory Board of the U.S. President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sport. Her scholarship and teaching expertise center on two areas: the psychological, social and physical health and development of competitive youth sport participants, and the psychological responses of athletes to sport injury. Through these she advocates for top-quality child, youth, and adolescent sport participation via promotion of healthy approaches to sport performance excellence, and prevention of unhealthy or maladaptive events such as injuries or sport dropout. Dr. Bjornstal promotes social and cognitive educational interventions as effective tools in sport injury recovery, and strives for the prevention of unhealthy philosophies, attitudes and practices that increase risks for sport injuries and the associated negative mental consequences once they occur. In her conceptual translational research in sports medicine psychology, she assimilates multi-disciplinary evidence and draws practical implications for coaches, athletic trainers, and other professionals about the importance of the psychological aspects of sport injury as affecting physical recovery and overall well-being among athletes and other physically active populations.
Current Courses Taught and Supervised
- KIN 3126W: Sport and Exercise Psychology (supervisor)
- KIN 3136: Mental Skills Training for Sport (supervisor)
- KIN 5375: Competitive Sport for Children and Youth (instructor)
- KIN 5720: Special Topics - Sports Performance Psychology (co-sponsor)
- KIN 5723: Psychology of Sport Injury (instructor)
- KIN 8126: Sports Medicine Psychology (instructor)
- KIN 8980: Graduate Research Seminar in Kinesiology (instructor)
Recent Grant Support
Wiese-Bjornstal, D.M. (P.I.), & Omli, J. (Co-I). (2009-2011). International sports connections sports coach training program in Uganda. Funded by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M., Kenow, L., & Flint, F. (2012). Psychological aspects of sport injury and rehabilitation. In S. Hillman (Ed.), Core concepts in athletic training (pp. 537-558). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M., Albinson, C. B., Henert, S. E., Arendt, E. A., Schwenz, S. J., Myers, S. S., & Gardetto-Heller, D. M. (2012). Evaluating the dynamic model of psychological response to sport injury and rehabilitation. In J. H. Bastos & A. C. Silva (Eds.), Athlete performance and injuries (pp. 79-98). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers. view here
Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M. (2010). Psychology and socioculture affect injury risk, response, and recovery in high intensity athletes: A consensus statement. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 20(Suppl. 2), 108-116.
Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M. (2009). Sport injury & college athlete health across the lifespan. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 2, 64-80.
Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M., LaVoi, N. M., & Omli, J. (2009). Child and adolescent development and sport participation. In B. Brewer (Ed.), International Olympic Committee (IOC) Medical Commission Handbook of Sports Medicine and Science: Sport Psychology Volume (pp. 97-112, Chapter 10). Blackwell Publishing, Ltd.
Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M. (2009). Psychological dimensions of girls’ physical activity participation. In S. R. Guthrie, T. M. Magyar, A. F. Masliszewski, & A. M. Wrynn (Eds.), Women, sport, & physical activity: Challenges and triumphs (2nd Ed.) (pp. 199-216). Dubuque, IA: Kendall-Hunt.
Weiss, M. R., & Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M. (2009, September). Promoting positive youth development through physical activity. President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Research Digest, Series 10(3), p. 1-8, online version available here.
Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M., & LaVoi, N. M. (2007, December). Girls' physical activity participation: Recommendations for best practices, programs, policies and research. In the 2007 Report of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport, Developing physically active girls: An evidence-based multidisciplinary approach.University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (pp.63-90), print version, online version available at cehd.umn.edu/tuckercenter/.
Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M. (2004). Psychological responses to injury and illness. In G.S. Kolt & M.B. Andersen (Eds.), Psychology in the physical and manual therapies (pp. 21-38). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M. (2003). From skinned knees and Pee Wees to menisci and masters: Developmental sport injury psychology. In M.R. Weiss (Ed.), Developmental sport and exercise psychology: A lifespan perspective (pp. 525-568). Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology.
Ray, R., & Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M. (Co-Editors). (1999). Counseling in sports medicine. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M., Smith, A. M., Shaffer, S. M., & Morrey, M. A. (1998). An integrated model of response to sport injury: Psychological and sociological dynamics. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 10, 46-69.
Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M., Smith, A. M., & LaMott, E. E. (1995). A model of psychologic response to athletic injury and rehabilitation. Athletic Training: Sports Health Care Perspectives, 1(1), 16-30. Available here
Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M., & Weiss, M. R. (1992). Modeling effects on children's form kinematics, performance outcome, and cognitive recognition of a sport skill: An integrated perspective. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 63(1), 67-75.