David E. Conroy

 David Conroy

Professor of Kinesiology and Human Development & Family Studies

Contact Information

268U Recreation Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park PA 16802


(fax) 814-865-1275





Ph.D., 2000, Exercise and Sport Science, University of Utah

Research Interests

My research focuses on motivation. In ongoing research, we seek to understand the factors that motivate peoples’ physical activity and sedentary behavior, how that motivation changes over time (naturally as well as in response to interventions), and the consequences of (in)activity for well-being. Our interests in motivation span both controlled (e.g., beliefs, intentions) and automatic processes (e.g., habits, evaluations, goals). Our methods emphasize studying people in the context of their everyday lives and modeling changes in each person’s motivation, behavior, and well-being over time.


  • Motivation for competence and health, with particular emphasis on physical activity and sedentary behavior
  • Daily processes in motivation, health behavior, and quality of life/well-being
  • Behavioral interventions to modify automatic motivational processes and health behavior

Selected Publications

Conroy, D.E., Maher, J.P., Elavsky, S., Hyde, A.L., & Doerksen, S.E. (in press). Sedentary behavior as a daily process regulated by habits and intentions. Health Psychology. doi: 10.1037/a0031629

Conroy, D.E., Elavsky, S., Doerksen, S.E., & Maher, J.P. (in press). A daily process analysis of intentions and physical activity in emerging adults. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology.

Hyde, A.L., Elavsky, S., Doerksen, S.E., & Conroy, D.E. (2012). The stability of implicit attitudes toward physical activity and their relations with physical activity. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 34, 715-736.

Maher, J.P., Doerksen, S.E., Elavsky, S., Hyde, A.L., Pincus, A.L., Ram, N., & Conroy, D.E. (2013). A daily analysis of physical activity and satisfaction with life in emerging adults. Health Psychology, 32, 647-656.

Ram, N., Coccia, M., Conroy, D.E., Dattilo, A.L., Orland, B., Pincus, A., Sliwinski, M., & Gerstorf, D. (2013). Watching how behavioral landscapes are transformed by life circumstances: The power of burst designs. Research in Human Development, 10, 88-110. (special issue on Adult Personality Development: Dynamics and Processes)

Strategic Themes

  • Domains of Health and Behavior
  • Contexts and Social Institutions