Research

The Childhood, Attachment, Play and Emotions Lab (CAPE Lab) is dedicated to studying the influence of parenting and peer relationships on children’s play experiences, and the impact of these for children’s social, emotional and cognitive development, and wellbeing, especially feelings of fear and anxiety. At the moment, we are investigating the influence of parents on children's play experiences, particularly around the school transition period. We are also conducting research about children’s experiences of outdoor and risky play. Outdoor play with its risks and challenges is very beneficial for children’s development. Despite this, children's opportunities to engage in outdoor and risky play (e.g. play at speed, at height, with tools, with elements such as fire and water, rough and tumble play, unsupervised play) have dramatically declined over the past 50 years. During the same period, the prevalence of mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression amongst children and adolescents has steadily increased.  Our research in the CAPE Lab investigates this important relationship between children's play and their well-being.

We are always interested in hearing from prospective students or early career scientists who might like to work with us. Please contact me if you are interested in finding out more about the opportunities available within the CAPELab.