Jenn Jacobs, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Sport and Exercise Psychology


Kinesiology and Physical Education

Research Interests

  • Sport-based youth development
  • Transfer of life skills
  • Sport for social change
  • Social and emotional learning


  • Ph.D. Northern Illinois University, Educational Psychology
  • M.S. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Sport Psychology
  • B.S. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Kinesiology

Recent Scholarly Activities

Peer-Review Articles

  • Jacobs, J. M., Wahl-Alexander, Z., and Mack, T. (2019). Strategies for gaining access to deliver sport programs with highly vulnerable youth. Journal of Youth Development, 14, 155-164.
  • Wahl-Alexander, Z., Jacobs, J. M., and Mack, T. (2019). Lessons learned from the field: Teaching in high-risk physical education environments. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, 90(5),
  • Wright, P.M., Jacobs, J.M., Howell, S., and Ressler, J.R. (2018). Immediate outcomes and implementation a sport for development coach education programme in Belize. Journal of Sport for Development: Special Issue on Latin American Contexts, 6(10), 51-65.
  • Jacobs, J.M., Richards, K.A.R., Shiver, V., and Lawson, M. (2017). The role of family and school culture congruence in transfer from sport-based youth development programs in afterschool contexts. Journal of Amateur Sport: Special Issue on Family Issues in Amateur Athletics 3(3), 20-43.
  • Jacobs, J.M., and Wright, P.M. (2017). Transfer of life skills in sport-based youth development programs: A conceptual framework bridging learning to application. Quest, 70(1), 81-99.  

Funded Projects

  • Project Flex: Sustaining a sport leadership program for incarcerated male youth (2018). NIU Research and Artistry Fund ($10,000) 
  • Project FLEX (Fitness Leadership EXperience): a comprehensive evaluation of a sport education / TPSR program for juvenile inmates. (2018). Northern Illinois Great Journeys ($11,267). 
  • Fighting for Better Body Image: A Boxing Body Empowerment Club for Middle School Girls. (2018). DeKalb Township Committee on Youth
  • Alternative Spring BAE: Belizean Academic Experience for sport sciences students (2018). NIU College of Education Instructional Innovation Grant

Courses Taught

  • KNPE 310 - Psychological Aspects of Sport and Exercise
  • KNPE 445 - Measurement for Evaluation
  • KNPE 582 - Psychology of Sport and Exercise
  • KNPE 583 - Psychology of Coaching
  • KNPE 586 - Sport: Culture and Society

Contact Us

Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education 
Anderson Hall 221
DeKalb, IL 60115
P: 815-753-1407 
F: 815-753-1413

Connect with us on