Jeanette Garcia is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Sciences at UCF. She holds a MS in Psychology and a PhD in Exercise Physiology, with an emphasis on public health and behavioral medicine. Her area of research focused on the development and implementation of community-based health interventions to improve physical and psychosocial health in children and adolescents. Garcia has a particular interest in examining health behaviors in youth with social/emotional/behavioral disorders, primarily Autism Spectrum Disorder. The majority of her research takes place in school settings, using objective measures of behavior monitoring (e.g. accelerometers) to assess health behaviors such as physical activity, sedentary time, and sleep quality in typically developing youth and youth with social/emotional/behavioral disorders. Additionally, she aims to further examine how the promotion of health behaviors in school settings may influence classroom behavior and academic performance, particularly for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Areas of Expertise
- Special populations
- Mixed-method designs
- Behavioral Medicine
- Activity assessment
- Ph.D., Doctor of Philosophy, Exercise Physiology, University of Virginia
- MS, Master of Science, Psychology
- Postdoctoral Training, Harvard University
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
- National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
Ash T, Bowling A, Davison KK, Garcia JM. Physical activity interventions for children with social, emotional, and behavioral disabilities: A systematic review. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. 2017; 38:431 – 445.
Healy S, Haegle JA, Grenier M, Garcia JM. Physical Activity, Screen-Time Behavior, and Obesity among 13-year olds in Ireland with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2017; 47: 49-57.
Garcia JM, Agaronov A, Sirard JR, Whaley D, Rice DJ, Weltman A. Psychosocial and Friend Influences on Sedentary Behavior and Screen Time: A Mixed Methods Analysis. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 2017; 14: 213-221.
Garcia JM, Cox DJ, Rice DJ. Associations of Physiological and Psychological Health Outcomes with Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes. BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care. 2017; 14: 213-221.
Garcia JM, Sirard JR, Larson R, Bruening M, Wall M, Neumark-Stzainer D. Social and Psychological Factors Associated With Adolescent Physical Activity. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. September 2016; 13(9): 957-963.
Current Funded Projects
Partnership to Increase Physical Activity and Overall Well-being in Typically Developing Girls and Girls with Varying Exceptionalities: Girls on the Run Program – August 2017 – present
Mixed Methods Evaluation of a Modified-Judo Training Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder – April 2017 – present
Areas of Specialty
- Health behaviors in youth with social/emotional/behavioral disorders
- Community-based health interventions
- Link between health behaviors (physical activity, nutrition, sleep, screen time) & academic performance
Preventing Type 2 Diabetes in Low-Income Minority Women with Prior Gestational Diabetes
Development of a Family-Centered Cooking Class for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Researchers in the College of Health Professions and Sciences Use the Pandemic as an Opportunity to Expand Collaborations and Impact
A little more than a year ago, faculty and students in the College of Health Professions and Sciences who were working on research projects had to pivot when COVID-19 derailed their plans. CHPS researchers regrouped and forged ahead with their projects by finding new ways to use the...
Health Sciences Students Compete in Undergraduate Research Symposium
Ten groups of health science students across five sections in Applied Health Research Methodology recently gathered online to present their final project – a research proposal poster. As the culmination...
Health Sciences Students Showcase Research Proposals at Annual Symposium
As the semester draws to an end, Health Sciences students from five sections of the Applied Health Research Methodology class participated in an online symposium of nearly 100 attendees to...
New Research Focused on Healthy Eating Habits in Those with Autism Receives Grant from Sprouts Farmers Market
At left, Jennifer Wolf, UCF Associate Director of Development for CHPS, accepts a check from Andrew Linehan, manager for Sprouts Farmers Market. Jeanette Garcia, an assistant professor in the Department of Health...
New Program Teaches Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder How To Eat Healthy
Overweight and obesity are common conditions in the U.S. pediatric population, but children with autism spectrum disorder have a 41 percent greater chance of having these health conditions than their...
UCF Study: Judo May Help Health, Social Interaction of Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Judo may be just the right sport to increase the physical activity level among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and holds promise for reducing sedentary behavior, which is linked...
UCF Partners with The Paragon School to Develop Health Promotion Interventions for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder
When Jeanette Garcia, an assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and Physical Therapy was in grade school and high school in Pittsburgh, she noticed that students were split into...
In New Study, Children With Autism Learn the Gentle Way of Judo
For one hour each week, children in a new UCF research study shed their label of autism, don white uniforms called judogis and become judokas — practitioners of the martial...
Assistant Professor Named Senior Associate Editor of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Sport and exercise science assistant professor David Fukuda’s passion for judo and wrestling shaped his career. He’s a former national and international judo competitor and judo black belt who enjoys coaching and...