Dr Ivanka Prichard

Senior Lecturer

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

place Sturt South Wing (S212D)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Dr Ivanka Prichard's research explores the connections between body image and health behaviour with a particular focus on lifestyle factors associated with cancer prevention (diet, physical activity, tanning, and alcohol consumption). She has a PhD in Psychology from Flinders University and has a background in health psychology, exercise, eating behaviour, and body image research. Currently, she is interested in how the media shapes body image, social norms around different health behaviours, and family influences on health behaviour across the lifespan (ORCID ID).

Ivanka joined the Discipline of Health & Exercise Sciences at Flinders University in 2014. Her teaching interests are in the area of health psychology and quantitative research methods.

Ivanka is Co-Deputy Director of the SHAPE Research Centre (Sport, Health and Physical Education) at Flinders University, a member of the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer (FCIC), and the SA convenor of the Australian Psychological Society's Psychology of Eating, Weight and Body Image interest group.

Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Honours in Psychology)
Honours, awards and grants
  • 2016 Research Leadership Mentoring Program recipient, ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellowship @ University of Melbourne run by Professor Joy Damousi
  • 2015 Beat Cancer Project – Travel Grant 2015 recipient, The Cancer Council South Australia
  • 2013 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Early Career Researchers
Research expertise
Body image
Sport & fitness
Women’s health
Research interests

My research interests lie in the area of health psychology, with a particular focus on body image and lifestyle factors associated with obesity and cancer prevention (diet, physical activity, tanning, and alcohol consumption). I am currently leading a number of research projects across all of these areas.

Current Research:

  • Body image & exercise: Body image concern and lack of physical activity are both major issues in Australia. My research in this area examines body dissatisfaction as an obstacle to exercise participation in young women and the impact of inspirational fitness images from social media on actual exercise behaviour and psychological well-being among young women.
  • Exercise & eating behaviour: Some people may not reach their health goals because they psychologically compensate for positive health behaviours with negative ones. My research in this area explores how individuals cognitively justify compensating for exercise with food and vice versa.
  • Intergenerational transmission of eating behaviour: Dietary habits are primarily established and maintained in family environments. Genetic and environmental risk factors for overweight and disease also cluster in families, making them an important target for dietary-focused disease prevention. My research in this area examines the influence of different family members (child, parent, grandparent) on both healthy and unhealthy eating behaviour.
  • Health behaviours: It is important to identify modifiable psychological factors that could have long term implications for the incidence of lifestyle related diseases such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes, as well as some cancers. My research in this area focuses on understanding lifestyle factors associated with tanning, alcohol consumption, dietary intake and physical activity.


Topic coordinator
HLTH2105 Health: A Psychological Perspective
Supervisory interests
Body image
Cancer, primary and secondary prevention strategies
Eating behaviour
Eating habits, family influence
Exercise and sport science
Family health
Health promotion and education
Health psychology
Nutrition and cancer prevention
Obesity prevention, family environment
Obesity prevention, healthy behaviours
Physical activity
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Physical activity, social media, & apps (1)
Associate supervisor: Men's help seeking behaviour (1), Food cues & eating behaviour (1)

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