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Decker School of Nursing

Decker Health and Wellness Studies Faculty/Staff

Joel Thirer


Health and Wellness Studies


  • PhD, Florida State University
  • MS, Ithaca College
  • BS, Hunter/Lehman College (CUNY)

Teaching overview

  • HWS 338: Psychology of Sport and Exercise
  • HWS 339: Sport in Society

Relevant experience, certifications, honors

Professional recognition
  • Research consortium fellow, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
  • Fellow and charter member, Association for Applied Sport Psychology
  • Charter member, North American Society for Sociology of Sport
  • 2007 Division I Athletic Director of the Year, Northeast Region, National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics
Past editorial boards and guest editorships
  • Journal of Applied Research in Coaching and Athletics
  • Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
  • Journal of Sport Behavior
  • Applied Research in Coaching and Athletics Annual
Theses and dissertation committee
  • MS degree: served on 35 committees; chaired 26
  • PhD degree: served on six committees; chaired two
Legal consultant/expertise
  • Expert witness and consultant on legal issues for both plaintiff and defense with regard to risk management for organized athletics, recreational play, physical activity and fitness.
  • Nationally recognized expert on the subject of sport violence; spoke on National Public Radio, interviewed on a CNN/TBS nationally aired segment regarding violence in the sport of ultimate fighting, and interviewed on ESPN's Endzone radio show and ESPN's Outside the Lines. 

Select publications and presentations

  • Thirer, J. (1978). "Politics and protest at the Olympic Games." In B. Lowe, D. Kanin, & A. Strenk (Ed's.), Sport and International Relations. (pp. 153-159). Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing Company.
  • Thirer, J. & Wright, S.D. (1986). "Sport and social status for adolescent males and females." In Yianakkis, A., McIntyre, T., Melnick, M., Hart, D. (Ed's.). Sport Sociology: Contemporary Themes. (pp. 133-137). Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.
  • Houseworth, S., & Thirer, J. (1986). "Comparison of motive to succeed, motive to avoid failure, and fear of success levels between male and female intercollegiate swimmers." In VanderVelden, L. Humphrey, J. (Ed's.). Psychology and Sociology of Sport: Current Selected Research. Vol. 1 (pp. 73-83). New York: AMS Press. 
  • Thirer, J. (1992). "Aggression." In R.N. Singer, M. Murphey, & L.K. Tenant (Ed's), Handbook of Research in Sport Psychology, (pp. 365-378). New York: MacMillan.
Book reviews
  • Thirer, J. (1982). Review of Sport and Play in American Life. By S.K. Figler, (1981). Philadelphia; Saunders College Publishing. (356 pp.), Appearing in the Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 6 (1), 45.
  • Thirer, J. (1990). Review of Children and Play in the Holocaust: Games Among the Shadows, by G. Eisen (1988), Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. (168 pp). Appearing in Sociology of Sport Journal, 7, 83-84.
  • Thirer, J. (1990). Review of the "Exercise Prescription for Depression and Anxiety," by Keith W. Johnsgard, (1989), New York: Plenium Publishing Corp. (325 pp.), Appearing in Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology Newsletter. 5.2
Articles in refereed professional journals
  • Research Quarterly
  • Review of Sport and Leisure (two articles)
  • Journal of Sport Behavior (five articles)
  • Motor Skills: Theory into Practice
  • The Physical Educator
  • Perceptual and Motor Skills (three articles)
  • ARENA - The Institute for Sport and Social Analysis-Review
  • Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (two articles)
  • Sociology of Sport Journal
  • Journal of Applied Research in Coaching and Athletics
  • Educational and Psychological Research
  • Sex Roles
Papers and presentations at professional conferences
  • 100+ presentations made at local, state and national conferences and meetings

Last Updated: 2/28/17