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University of Portsmouth Featured PhD Programmes
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The influence of adventurous play and outdoor activities on child anxiety


School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences

Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

When children are given opportunities to take risks in their play or take part in adventurous outdoor activities such as climbing or kayaking, it is likely that they learn about fear, coping and uncertainty. These learning experiences could lay the foundations for emotional wellbeing and affect children’s risk for problems such as anxiety and depression. This PhD project would be conducted alongside Dr Helen Dodd’s Future Leaders Fellowship funded by the UKRI, which focuses on adventurous play in schools as a mechanim to decrease children’s risk for anxiety. As such, the student will join a thriving research team. There is huge scope for research topics in this broad area and the student would be able to prioritise what they would like to focus on, developing ideas together with the research team. The work will likely be quite applied, working in partnership with local and national organisations involved in children’s play and adventure sports. Please feel free to contact me at for further information or to discuss opportunities. Potential students will be supported to apply for funding if required.

Funding Notes

Psychology undergraduate degree with excellent grades. Relevant masters degree preferable.

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