Picture of  Leah Ferguson

Leah Ferguson Assistant Professor

PAC 313

Research Area(s)

  • Aboriginal Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Women's Health

Academic Background

  • Ph.D. Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, 2014
  • M.Sc. Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, 2009
  • B.A. (Honours) Psychology, University of Saskatchewan, 2007

Courses Taught

  • KIN 122.3 - Social Behavioral Foundations of Physical Activity
  • KIN 380.3 - Research Methods in Kinesiology
  • GSR 982 - Mentored Teaching

Prospective Graduate Students

Dr. Ferguson is currently accepting graduate student applications.  Prospective students interested in pursuing a research graduate degree in the area of sport, health, and exercise psychology or Indigenous peoples'  health should contact Dr. Ferguson and provide a brief summary of prior research experience,  an expression of interest in pursuing graduate studies, and unofficial transcripts. 

Recent Publications

  • Tarasoff, L., Ferguson, L. J., & Kowalski, K. C. (2017). Self-compassion in an evaluative dance environment. University of Saskatchewan Undergraduate Research Journal, 3, 1-11.
  • Ferguson, L. J., & Gunnell, K. E. (2016). Eudaimonic wellbeing: A gendered perspective. In J. Vitterso  (Ed.), Handbook of eudaimonic wellbeing. (pp. 427-436).  Switzerland: Springer.
  • Ferguson, L. J., & Philipenko, N. Y. (2016).“I would love to blast some pow music and just dance”: First Nations students’ experiences of physical activity on campus. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 8, 180-193.
  • Foulds, H. J. A., Rodgers, C. D., Duncan, V., & Ferguson, L. J. (2016). A systematic review of screen time behaviour among North American Indigenous populations. Obesity Reviews, 17, 455-466
  • Ferguson, L. J., Kowalski, K. C., Mack, D. E., & Sabiston, C. M. (2015). Self-compassion and eudaimonic well-being during emotionally difficult times in sport. Journal of Happiness Studies, 16, 1263-1280. 
  • Reis, N. A., Kowalski, K. C., Ferguson, L. J., Sabiston, C. M., Sedgwick, W. A., & Crocker, P. R.E. (2015). Self-compassion and women athletes’ responses to emotionally difficult sport situations: An evaluation of a brief induction. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 16, 18-25.
  • Ferguson, L. J., Kowalski, K. C., Mack, D. E., & Sabiston, C. M. (2014). Exploring self-compassion and eudaimonic well-being in young women athletes. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 36, 203-216.
  • Grove, J. R., Main, L., Partridge, K., Bishop, D., Russell, S., Shepherdson, A. & Ferguson, L. (2014). Training distress and performance readiness: Laboratory and field validation of a brief self-report measure. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 6, e483-e490.
  • Kowalski, K., & Ferguson, L. (2014). Self-acceptance. In R. C. Eklund, & G. Tenenbaum (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology (pp. 612-614). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Kowalski, K., & Ferguson, L. (2014). Self-compassion. In R. C. Eklund, & G. Tenenbaum (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology (pp. 622-624). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Sutherland, L. M., Kowalski, K. C., Ferguson, L. J., Sabiston, C. M., Sedgwick, W. A., & Crocker, P. R. E. (2014). Narratives of young women athletes’ experiences of emotional pain and self-compassion. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 6, 499-516.
  • West, K., Ferguson, L., Henderson, A., Kawalilak, C., Krushelinski, C., Morris, E., … Smyth, S. (2014). Using collaborative inquiry to investigate reflective teaching portfolios as award criteria. In L. L. B. Border (Ed.),  Studies in graduate and professional student development: Graduate student teaching awards. (pp. 79-94). No. 15: Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press.

Research Funding

Principal Investigator

  • Title: Aboriginal Youth Mentorship Program in Saskatchewan
    Agency: Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation Partnership Grant
    Timeline: 2016-2017
  • Title: Aboriginal Women Athletes’ Flourishing in Sport
    Agency: Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation Establishment Grant
    Timeline: 2015-2018
  • Title: Self-compassion in Sport: Its Stability and Longitudinal Relationships with Young Women Athletes’ Performance and Eudaimonic Well-being
    Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Development Grant
    Awarded: 2015

Co-Principal Investigator

  • Nominated Principal Investigator: Dr. Jonathan McGavock (University of Manitoba)
    Title: Expanding the Circle: Peer-based Approaches to Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Prevention for Indigenous Children
    Agency: Canadian Institutes of Health Research Team Grant: Pathways Implementation Research Team – Component 2
    Timeline: 2016-2019 

Professional Affiliations

Research Affiliate

  • Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre 


  • Aboriginal Physical Activity and Cultural Circle
  • Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology (SCAPPS)
  • North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA)
  • International Association of Applied Psychology


  • Mental Skills Consultant, Sport Medicine & Science Council of Saskatchewan