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Adventurous Play Improves Children’s Mental Health, Study Finds

    news 5 August featured

    Mental Health News

    Researchers at the University of Exeter revealed how adventurous play is associated with better mental health in children. The study is published in the journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

    The Study

    The researchers surveyed nearly 2500 parents living in Northern Ireland and the UK. The participants had children aged 5–11 years. They completed questionnaires about their children’s adventurous play outdoors, their mental health, and their mood during the first Covid-19 lockdown.

    The Findings

    The results reveal that children playing adventurously has mental health benefits. In fact, it is found that children who spend more time playing in nature and prefer adventurous play activities have better mental health than those who don’t.

    They have fewer ‘internalizing problems’ and lower symptoms of anxiety and depression. Such active children are also more positive and accommodating of the lockdown conditions.

    Putting Theory To Practice

    The researchers are enthusiastic that the findings from the study will tilt the scales in favor of spending time outdoors and adventurous play. This can offer new learning opportunities and help build stronger psychological resilience in children, thereby preventing future mental health problems.

    The lead researcher, Helen Dodd, elaborated: “We now urgently need to invest in and protect natural spaces, well-designed parks, and adventure playgrounds—to support the mental health of our children.

    To Know More You May Refer To

    Dodd, H. F., FitzGibbon, L., Watson, B. E., & Nesbit, R. J. (2021). Children’s Play and Independent Mobility in 2020: Results from the British Children’s Play Survey. International journal of environmental research and public health18(8), 4334. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084334