Department of Education

Dr Sam Carr

Sam Carr

Director of Studies BA (Hons) Education with Psychology

1 West North 4.10
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 3489

PhD supervision

Areas interested in supervising:

  • Research projects related to attachment theory
  • Research projects related to the development of human motivation
  • Research projects exploring human relations in the contexts of sport and/or education


I have a particular interest in exploring human relationships and their role in shaping our psychological experiences through the lifespan. To this end, attachment theory (as a way of thinking about and understanding relationships) is one of my favoured frameworks. I am equally intrigued by (a) the impacts of our close attachments on our existence and (b) the impacts of broader social and political structures upon our attachment bond formation and psychological experiences.

Research interests

  • Human relationships across the lifespan
  • Attachment theory
  • Human motivation
  • Social policy and justice from a psychological perspective

Current projects

  • Exploring the role of animals as (a) attachment figures, and (b) facilitators of human-human bonds in the context of foster care (with Ben Rockett)
  • Exploring mobile lifestyles in children and adolescents through the lens of human relationships (with Dr Ceri Brown and Georgina Lovett)
  • Exploring the provision of sport for underpriveleged children through an attachment theory persepctive (with Ioannis Batlle)
  • Understanding personal theories of ability in relation to instructional practices (with Sue Shapcott)
  • Exploring the notion of "biographical pain" in elderly people from an attachment theory perpective (with Malcolm Johnson)
  • Understanding the impact of educational policy on human motivation (a book "Motivation and Educational policy" us currently under contract with Routledge)



Carr, S., 2015. Motivation, Educational Policy and Achievement:A Critical Perspective. Routledge.

Carr, S., 2012. Attachment in sport, exercise and wellness. Routledge. (Routledge Research in Sport and Exercise Science)

Book Sections

Carr, S., 2016. Forthcoming. Liberalism. In: The SAGE Encyclopedia of Lifespan Human Development. Sage Publications.

Carr, S. and Weigand, D. A., 2014. Families. In: Papaioannou, A. G. and Hackfort, D., eds. Routledge Companion to Sport and Exercise Psychology. London, U. K.: Routledge, pp. 187-198. (International Perspectives on Key Issues in Sport and Exercise Psychology)

Carr, S., 2012. Psychology for coaches. In: Bush, A., Brierley, J., Carr, S., Gledhill, A., Mackay, N., Manley, A., Morgan, H., Roberts, W. and Willsmer, N., eds. Foundations in sports coaching. London: Heinemann.

Carr, S., 2012. Relationships and sport and performance. In: Murphy, S. M., ed. Handbook of sport and performance psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 400-417. (Oxford Library of Psychology)


Adams, A. and Carr, S., 2017. Football friends:adolescent boys’ friendships inside an English professional football (soccer) academy. Soccer and Society

Costas Batlle, I., Carr, S. and Brown, C., 2017. ‘I just can’t bear these procedures, I just want to be out there working with children’: an autoethnography on neoliberalism and youth sports charities in the UK. Sport, Education and Society

Carr, S. and Rockett, B., 2017. Fostering secure attachment: experiences of animal companions in the foster home. Attachment and Human Development, 19 (3), pp. 259-277.

Carr, S. and Costas Batlle, I., 2015. Attachment theory, neoliberalism, and social conscience. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 35 (3), pp. 160-176.

Costas Batlle, I., Carr, S. and Brown, C., 2015. Exploring sport as a site for children's relational and socio-psychological development. Procedia - Social and Behavioural Sciences, 191, pp. 1069-1076.

Rockett, B. and Carr, S., 2014. Animals and attachment theory. Society and Animals, 22 (4), pp. 415-433.

Carr, S., Colthurst, K., Coyle, M. and Elliott, D., 2013. Attachment dimensions as predictors of mental health and psychosocial well-being in the transition to university. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 28 (2), pp. 157-172.

Carr, S., 2012. High task/high ego oriented students’ reasons for endorsing task and ego goals in the context of physical education. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 61 (4), pp. 540-563.

Carr, S. and Landau, S., 2012. Consciously identified attachment hierarchies: Cognitive accessibility of attachment figure names as a function of threat primes in a lexical decision task. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 53 (1), pp. 17-25.

Bush, A. J., Anderson, E. and Carr, S., 2012. The declining existence of men’s homophobia in organized university sport. Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education, 6 (1), pp. 107-120.

Carr, S. and Fitzpatrick, N., 2011. Experiences of dyadic sport friendships as a function of self and partner attachment characteristics. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 12 (4), pp. 383-391.

Carr, S., 2009. Adolescent–parent attachment characteristics and quality of youth sport friendship. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10 (6), pp. 653-661.

Carr, S., 2009. Implications of attachment theory for sport and physical activity research: conceptual links with achievement goal and peer-relationship models. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 2 (1), pp. 95-115.

Carr, S. and Weigand, D. A., 2008. Children's goal profiles and perceptions of the motivational climate:Interactive association with self-determined motivation and affective patterns in physical education. Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences, 2, pp. 8-32.

Carr, S., 2006. An examination of multiple goals in children's physical education: Motivational effects of goal profiles and the role of perceived climate in multiple goal development. Journal of Sports Sciences, 24, pp. 281-297.

Elliott, D., Carr, S. and Orme, D., 2005. The influence of motivational music on sub-maximal exercise. European Journal of Sports Science, 2, pp. 97-106.

Elliott, D., Carr, S. and Savage, D., 2004. The effects of motivational music during submaximal exercise performance. Journal of Sport Behavior, 27, pp. 134-1478.

Carr, S. and Wyon, M., 2003. Motivational climate and goal orientations, trait anxiety and perfectionism in dance students. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, 7 (4), pp. 105-114.

Carr, S. and Weigand, D. A., 2002. Goal profiles and perceptions of peer, teacher, and sport hero motivational climate in physical education. Journal of Sport Behavior, 25, pp. 19-40.

Weigand, D., Carr, S., Petherick, C. and Taylor, A., 2001. Motivational climate in sport and PE: The role of significant others. European Journal of Sports Science, 1, pp. 1-21.

Carr, S. and Weigand, D. A., 2001. Parental, peer, teacher, and sporting hero influence on the goal orientations of children in physical education. European Physical Education Review, 7 (3), pp. 305-329.

Carr, S., Weigand, D. A. and Jones, J., 2000. The relative influence of parents, peers and sporting hereos on goal orientations of children and adolescents in sport. Journal of Sport Pedagogy, 6 (2), pp. 34-55.

Carr, S., Weigand, D. A. and Hussey, W., 1999. The relative influence of parents, teachers, and peers on children and adolescents' achievement and intrinsic motivation and perceived competence in physical education. Journal of Sport Pedagogy, 5 (1), pp. 28-50.

Conference or Workshop Items

Rogers, J., Carr, S. and Hickman, C., 2017. Photo-voice with unaccompanied asylum seeking children living in foster care in the United Kingdom. In: International Conference on Practice Research, 2017-05-22 - 2017-05-25, Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Non-academic press

Carr, S., 2017. Pets can help children accept the challenges of foster care. The Conversation

Carr, S., 2016. What other cultures can teach parents about raising their children. The Conversation

Carr, S., 2016. How internet porn affects romantic life. The Conversation

Carr, S., 2016. How Facebook could be threatening your romantic relationship. The Conversation

Carr, S., 2016. Ban on parents in pyjamas is a shameful power game. The Conversation

Carr, S., 2015. Are teachers suffering from a crisis of motivation? The Conversation

Carr, S., 2015. Study shows most teenage friendships doomed to fail: but whose fault is that? The Conversation

Carr, S., 2015. Excellence is not the only point of Education. The Conversation

This list was generated on Sun Sep 24 22:23:01 2017 IST.

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