Xiangli Gu

Assistant Professor, Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation, Director, Pediatric Movement and Physical Activity Laboratory
Profile Picture
Contact Info
Physical Education Building 205-J

Dr. Xiangli Gu received her Ph.D. in Sport Pedagogy and Psychological Sciences from the Louisiana State University. Dr. Gu’s research agenda focuses on 1) achievement motivation in physical activity and health promotion, 2) the behavioral mechanism of childhood obesity including physical activity, physical fitness, and motor skills assessment among youth, and 3) how those behavioral variables may affect school-aged students’ academic performance and health outcomes. The long term goal of her research agenda is to develop optimal school-based intervention programs that aim at childhood obesity prevention and promoting cognitive health, especially in low-income minority groups. As a junior faculty member at UNT, Dr. Gu has received five internal grants (PI) and two external grants (PI). Dr. Gu’s research foci are aligned with objectives of the SHAPE America and Healthy People 2020, and can help address the health disparity issue among school-aged children. Furthermore, Dr. Gu have also displayed a strong commitment to professional services for scientific journals (i.e., JTPE, RQES, JASP,  etc.), and professional organizations such as AERA, SHAPE America, Obesity Society, and International Chinese Society for Physical Activities and Health (ICSPAH). As one SHAPE America Research Fellow, Dr. Gu was also recognized as one selected research fellow for the Physical Activity and Public Health Postgraduate Course hosted by the CDC and the University of South Carolina in 2016. Dr. Gu serves on the editorial board member for the journal of Advances in Physical Education. She is also serving on the Public Affair Committee for the ICSPAH and secretary position for TAHPERD.

Selected Publications

Gu, X., Chen, Y., & Thomas, K. T. (in press). The Role of Perceived and Actual Motor Competency on Children’s Physical Activity and Cardiorespiratory Fitness during Middle Childhood. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education.

Farren, G.L., Zhang, T., Gu, X., & Thomas, K. T. (2017). Sedentary behavior and physical activity predicting depressive symptoms in adolescents beyond attributes of health-related physical fitness. Journal of Sport and Health Science.

Gu, X. (2016). Fundamental motor skill, physical activity, and sedentary behavior in socioeconomically disadvantaged Kindergarteners. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 21, 871-881. DOI: 10.1080/13548506.2015.1125007

Gu, X., Chang M., & Solmon, M. A. (2016). Physical activity, physical fitness, and health-related quality of life in school-aged children. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 35, 117-126.

Gu, X., & Solmon, M. A. (2016). Motivational processes of children's physical activity and quality of Life. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 21, 407-424. DOI: 10.1080/17408989.2015.1017456.

Gu, X., & Zhang, T. (2016). Changes of children’s motivation in physical education and physical activity: A longitudinal perspective. Advances in Physical Education, 6, 205-212.

Zhang, T., Moore, W., Gu, X., Gao, Z., & Chu, T. L. (2016). Promoting children’s physical activity in physical education: The role of active video gaming. Journal of Teaching, Research, and Media in Kinesiology, 1, 1-13.   

Zhang, T., Xiang, P., Gu, X., & Rose, M. (2016). College students’ physical activity and health-related quality of life: An achievement goal perspective. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 87, 132-142.

Gu, X., Zhang, T., & Smith, K. (2015). Group cohesion, self-efficacy, and motivational responses among female college students: A prospective analysis. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 120, 700-713.

Gu, X., Solmon, M. A., & Zhang, T. (2014). Understanding middle school students’ physical activity and health-related quality of life: An expectancy-value perspective. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 9, 1041-1054. DOI 10.1007/s11482-013-9287-x  

Zhang, T., Solmon, M. A., Xiang, P., Gu, X., & Chen, Q. (2013). Relationships among self-determined motivation, achievement outcomes and related social and individual factors in middle school physical education. The Global Journal of Health and Physical Education Pedagogy, 2, 250-261.

Selected Grants

Gu, X. (PI) Research Grant. Understanding Chinese Children’s Academic Achievement: A Physical and Psychological Perspective. ZIME Research Grant. (Funded) 2017-2018.

Gu, X., Zhang, T., & Thomas, K. T. (PI) Research Grant. Do Physically Literate Adolescents Have Better Academic Performance? SHAPE America Research Grant. (Funded) 2014-2015.

Gu, X. & Lee, A. (PI) Research Grant. School Students’ Motivation, Physical Activity, and Health-related Quality of Life. Funded by AAHPERD Research Consortium Graduate Student Grant. (Funded) 2010-2011

Gu, X. Teaching Grant. Using Emerging Technologies to Enhance Students' Learning in Sport Psychology. Center for Learning Enhancement, Assessment, and Redesign of University of North Texas Learning Enhancement Grant. (Funded) 2011.

Selected Honors and Awards

2017, SHAPE America Research Fellow. SHAPER America

2016, TAHPERD Graduate Student Research Award (Mentee), TAHPERD

2016, SHAPE America Undergraduate Student Research Award (Mentee), SHAPER America

2016, Research Fellow, Center for Disease Control and the University of South Carolina

2015, UNT the College of Education Junior Faculty Research Award

2014, SHAPE America Early Career Investigator Research Grant (Principal Investigator)

2011, Research Council Graduate Student Research Award, SHAPE America (AAHPERD)

2010, Research Council Graduate Student Grant Award, SHAPE America (AAHPERD)