Fleur van Rens  from Murdoch University in Perth Australia.

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    Dr. Fleur van Rens
    PhD, MSc., MSc., BSc.

    Lecturer Sports Psychology

    About me

    I am a senior lecturer in sports psychology lecturer interested in the wellbeing and mental health of professional circus artists and athletes. I completed a BSc. in Social and Organisational Psychology at Utrecht University, a MSc. in Social Psychology at Tilburg University, a MSc. in Sport and Exercise psychology at Bangor University, and a PhD at Victoria University about the dual careers of junior elite athletes. Prior to Murdoch, I have taught sport psychology at Victoria University and Australian Catholic University. Further, I have worked as a researcher at the Mulier Institute, and at Guide Dogs for the Blind. I am the author of the book: ‘Circus psychology, an applied guide to thriving under the big top’ published by Routledge.

    View my book here: https://www.routledge.com/Circus-Psychology-An-applied-guide-to-thriving-under-the-big-top/Rens/p/book/9781032266343

    Teaching area

    Primarily, I teach sport and exercise psychology units at Murdoch University, such as: EXS201 Sport and Exercise Psychology, and EXS301 Advanced Sport and Exercise Psychology. I am also involved in several other units concerning psychology, health, and research methods.

    Research areas

    Broadly speaking, my research offers a holistic perspective on the mental health and performance of expert performers (e.g., circus artists and athletes). More specifically, I focus on the mental health, and safety of circus artists, the mental health of elite athletes in dual careers and athletic retirement, and mental health of persons with a disability or illness. I enjoy implementing mixed-method research designs, and supervise honours, masters, and PhD students in topics related to mental health.

    Doctoral and masters supervisions

    Doctoral student supervision:

    1x PhD completion Dr. Khaya Morris-Binelli (principal supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Sean Muller).

    3x ongoing PhD students (internal at Murdoch and external co-supervision)

    Honours and Master student supervisions:

    8x psychology honours student completions

    1x Master of Applied Psychology (Professional) completions

    1x Master of Science in Exercise Science completions 






    F. van Rens (2022). Circus psychology: an applied guide to thriving under the big top. Routledge.

    International peer-reviewed publications:

    1. Adhikari, S., Elsman, E.B.M., van Nispen, R.M., van Rens, F., Oli, R.U., Thapa, S., van Rens, G.H.M.B. (2023 in press). Causes of moderate to severe visual impairment and blindness among children in integrated schools for the blind and visiting a tertiary eye hospital in Nepal: The Nepal Pediatric Visual Impairment (NPVI) Study. Clinical Ophthalmology.
    2. Morris-Binelli, K., Muller, S., van Rens, F., Staniforth, D., Appleby, B., Rosalie, S. (2022). Implementing Skill Acquisition Research in High-Performance Sport: Reflecting on the Importance of Autonomy-Support for Successful Collaboration. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action. Link to full-text
    3. Chesher, S.M., Rosalie, S.M., Netto, K.J., Charlton, P. C., van Rens, F.E.C.A. (2022). A qualitative exploration of the motor skills required for elite triathlon performance. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. Link to full-text. 
    4. Van Rens, F.E.C.A., Metse, A., & Heritage, B. (2022). Exploring the mental health of circus artists: Circus factors, psychological resilience, and demographics predict disordered eating and exercise addictions. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 59, 102107. Link to full-text
    5. Morris-Binelli, K., Muller, S., van Rens, F.E.C.A., Harbaugh, A.G., & Rosalie, S. (2022). Individual differences and transfer of visual anticipation in expert female field hockey goalkeepers. Optometry and Vision Science. Link to full-text
    6. Adhikari, S., Elsman, E.B.M., van Nispen, R.M., van Rens, F., Oli, R.U., Thapa, S., van Rens, G.H.M.B. (2021). Translation and cross-cultural adaptation ofa  Nepali version of the Dutch Participation and Activity Inventory for Children and Youth (PAI-CY) with visual impairment. Journal of Patient – Reported Outcomes, 5, 77. Link to full-text.
    7. Van Rens, F.E.C.A., Burgin, M., & Morris-Binelli, K. (2021). Implementing a pressure inurement training program to optimize cognitive appraisal, emotion regulation, and sport self-confidence in a women’s state cricket team. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 33, 402-419. Link to full-text.
    8. Van Rens, F.E.C.A., & Filho, E. (2021). Not just clowning around: investigating psychological mechanisms underlying accidents in a heterogeneous group of contemporary circus artists. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 15(2), 377–385. Link to full-text.
    9. Learmonth, Y.C., Kaur, I., Baynton, S.L., Fairchild, T., Paul, L., & van Rens, F. (2021). Changing Behaviour towards Aerobic and Strength Exercise (BASE): Design of a randomised, phase I study determining the safety, feasibility and consumer-evaluation of a remotely-delivered exercise programme in persons with multiple sclerosis. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 102, 106281. Link to full-text.
    10. Van Rens, F.E.C.A., & Heritage, B. (2021). Mental Health of Circus Artists: Psychological Resilience, Circus Factors, and Demographics Predict Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and Flourishing. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 53, 101850. Link to full-text.
    11. Morris-Binelli, K., Müller, S., van Rens, F. E. C. A., Harbaugh, A. G., & Rosalie, S. M. (2021). Individual Differences in Performance and Learning of Visual Anticipation in Expert Field Hockey Goalkeepers. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 52, 101829. Link to full-text.
    12. Morris-Binelli, K., van Rens, F.E.C.A., Muller, S., & Rosalie, S.M. (2020). Psycho-perceptual-motor skills are deemed critical to save the penalty corner in international field hockey. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 51, 101753. Link to full-text.
    13. Steele, A. R., Van Rens, F. E. C. A., Ashley, R, A. (2020). A systematic literature review on the academic and athletic identities of student-athletes. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 13, 69-92. Link to full-text. 
    14. Van Rens, F.E.C.A., & Filho, E. (2020). Realising, adapting, and thriving in career transitions from gymnastics to contemporary circus arts. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 14, 127-148. Link to full-text.
    15. Muller, S., van Rens, F., Brenton, J., Morris-Binelli, K., Piggott, B., Rosalie, S.M., Burgin, M. (2019). Embedding of psycho-perceptual-motor skills can improve athlete assessment and training programs. Journal of Expertise, 2, 14-22. Link to full-text.
    16. Van Rens, F.E.C.A., Ashley, R.A., & Steele, A.R. (2019). Wellbeing and performance in dual careers: the role of academic and athletic identities. The Sport Psychologist, 33, 42-51. Link to full-text.
    17. Van Rens, F.E.C.A., Borkoles, E., Farrow, D., & Polman, R. C. (2018). Domain specific life satisfaction in the dual careers of junior elite football players: the impact of role strain. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 12, 302-315. Link to full-text.
    18. Van Rens, F. E.C.A., Borkoles, E., Farrow, D., Curran, T., & Polman, R. C. (2016). Development and initial validation of the Role Strain Questionnaire for Junior Athletes (RSQ-JA). Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 24, 168-178. Link to full-text. 
    19. Van Rens, F. E.C.A., Elling, A., & Reijgersberg, N. (2015). Topsport Talent Schools in the Netherlands: A retrospective analysis of the effect on performance in sport and education. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 50(1), 64-82. Link to full-text.

    Other relevant publications:

    1. Van Rens, F., Borkoles, E., & Polman, R. (2013). Rolspanning bij topsporttalenten: over het combineren van de rollen topsporter, scholier, vriend en familielid. Sportgericht, 5, 32-36.
    2. Von Heijden, A., Elling, A., Hakkers, S., Reijgersberg, N., van Rens, F., Wisse, E. (2012). Evaluatie Topsport talentscholen. Nieuwegein: Arko Sports media.
    3. Hoekman, R., Elling, A., van der Roest, J.W. & van Rens, F. (2011). Opbrengsten van Meedoen. Eindevaluatie programma Meedoen Alle Jeugd door Sport. Nieuwegein/ ’s- Hertogenbosch: Arko Sports Media/ W.J.H. Mulier Instituut.

    Conference proceedings and abstracts:

    1. Van Rens, F., & Filho. E. Towards a better understanding of accidents and near misses in contemporary circus arts: a psychological approach. Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare, Melbourne, Australia, 2019.
    2. Van Rens, F., & Filho, E. My trampoline coach never told me “show me what you feel inside”: Transition experiences from gymnastics to circus. Imagineers in Circus and Science, Canberra, Australia, 2018.
    3. Van Rens, F., & Filho, E. From Olympic rings to the circus ring: gymnasts’ transition experiences into circus. British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences(BASES)/European Federation of Sport Psychology(FEPSAC) joint conference, Nottingham, UK, 2017.
    4. Van Rens, F., Borkoles, E., Polman, R., Farrow, D. Role strain and life satisfaction in the dual careers of junior elite athletes. British Psychological Society Department of Sport and Exercise Psychology Conference, Leeds, UK, 2015.
    5. Van Rens, F., Borkoles, E., Farrow, D., Polman, R. Role strain, coping and time management: the effects on stress and school performance of talented adolescent athletes. Queensland Association for Gifted and Talented Children/Australian Association for the Education of Gifted and Talented/International Research Association for Talent Development and Excellence International Conference, Brisbane, Australia, 2015.
    6. Van Rens, F., Borkoles, E., Farrow, D., Polman, R. Role strain experienced by talented adolescent athletes: the balancing act between secondary school, sport and a social life. International Conference of Applied Psychology, Paris, France, 2014.
    7. Van Rens, F., Elling, A., Reijgersberg, N. The effectiveness of Topsport Talent Schools in the Netherlands: A retrospective analysis of performance in sport and education. World Conference of Performance Analysis in Sport, Worcester, UK, 2012.