Jenny Etnier

Department Chair, Julia Taylor Morton Distinguished Professor


Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Email Address:

Phone: 336.334.3037

Bio & Education

Dr. Etnier’s research focuses on the cognitive benefits of physical activity. She is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Academy of Kinesiology (FNAK# 525) and has received the School of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) Senior Research Excellence Award, Health and Human Performance Teaching Award, UNCG Alumni Teaching Excellence Award, HHS Teaching Excellence Award, HHS Graduate Mentoring Award, and the UNCG Graduate School´s Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award. Dr. Etnier is a member of five editorial board for peer-reviewed journals. She was formerly the President of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, former Member-at-Large of NAK, and Editor of the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity. She is principal investigator of the Physical Activity and Alzheimer’s Disease 2 study (PAAD-2). To learn more, go to Dr. Etnier has also written two books for the lay public titled Bring Your ‘A’ Game and Coaching for the Love of the Game.

Courses Taught

  • KIN 645 – Exercise Psychology
  • KIN 712 – Current Research and Issues in Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • KIN 723 – Statistical Methods for Kinesiology
  • KIN 748 – Advanced Topics in Sport and Exercise Psychology


Chen, F. T., Etnier, J. L., Chan, K. H., Chiu, P. K., Hung, T. M., Chang, Y. K. (In Press, 4.26.2020). Effects of physical activity training interventions on executive function in older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Medicine.
Park, K.S., Ganesh, A.B., Berry, N.T., Mobley, Y.P., Karper, W.B., Labban, J.D., Wahlheim, C.N., Williams, T.M., Wideman, L., & Etnier, J. L., (in press, 4.21.2020). The effect of physical activity on cognition relative to APOE genotype (PAAD-2): study protocol for a phase II randomized control trial. BMC Neurology.
Etnier, J.L., Drollette, E.S., Slutsky, A.B. (2019). Physical activity and cognition: A narrative review of the evidence for older adults. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 42, 156-166. (in press, 12/13/2018
Etnier, J. L., Labban, J. D., Karper, W. B., Wideman, L., Piepmeier, A.T., Shih, C-H, Castellano, M., Williams, L. M., Park, S-Y, Henrich, V. C., Dudley, W.N., Rulison, K.L. (2015). Innovative research exploring the effects of physical activity and genetics on cognitive performance in community-based older adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 23(4), 559-568.
Chang, Y. K., Labban, J.D., Gapin, J.I., & Etnier, J.L. (2012). The effects of acute exercise on cognitive performance: A meta-analytic review. Brain Research Reviews, 1453, 87-101.
Etnier, J.L., & Chang, Y.K. (2009). The effect of physical activity on executive function: A brief commentary on definitions, measurement issues, and the current state of the literature. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 31, 469-483.
Etnier, J.L., Caselli, R.J., Reiman, E.M., Alexander, G.E., Sibley, B.A., Tessier, D., & McLemore, E.C. (2007). Cognitive performance in older women relative to ApoE-ε4 genotype and aerobic fitness. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 39(1), 199-207.
Etnier, J.L., Nowell, P.M., Landers, D.M., & Sibley, B.A. (2006). A meta-regression to examine the relationship between aerobic fitness and cognitive performance. Brain Research Reviews, 52, 119-130.
Sibley, B.A., & Etnier, J.L. (2003). The relationship between physical activity and cognition in children: A meta-analysis. Pediatric Exercise Science, 15 (3), 243-256.
Etnier, J.L., Salazar, W., Landers, D.M., Petruzzello, S.J., Han, M., & Nowell, P. (1997). The influence of physical fitness and exercise upon cognitive functioning: A meta-analysis. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 19, 249-277.