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NeuroEd Research Page

On top of our Blogs and FAQ pages, we aim to ensure up to date, relevant research is accessible and shared in order to raise awareness, build knowledge and facilitate learning.


Our Research Pages includes a range of texts through publications and journals within different fields in order to provide a wider understanding of the complexities and approaches needed in supporting children and young people. 

Child’s Play: Examining the Association Between Time Spent Playing and Child Mental Health


It is theorised that adventurous play offers learning opportunities that help to prevent mental health problems in children. In this study, data from two samples is used to examine associations between the time that children aged 5–11 years spent playing adventurously and their mental health.


For comparison, time spent playing unadventurously and time spent playing outdoors are also examined. Study 1 includes a sample of 417 parents, Study 2 includes data from a nationally representative sample of 1919 parents. Small, significant associations between adventurous play and internalising problems, as well as positive affect during the first UK-wide Covid-19 lockdown, were found; children who spend more time playing adventurously had fewer internalising problems and more positive affect during the Covid-19 lockdown. Study 2 showed that these associations were stronger for children from lower income families than for children from higher income families. The results align with theoretical hypotheses about adventurous play.

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