Professor Helen Dodd
South Cloisters 2.05b
South Cloisters, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK
Helen Dodd is a Professor of Child Psychology in the College of Medicine and Health (CMH), University of Exeter. She is an expert in child mental health with a particular interest in the development of childhood anxiety disorders. Her research has been funded by the ESRC, Royal Society, British Academy, Kavli Foundation and the Australian Research Council. She has received awards for her research from the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) and the British Psychological Society (BPS). Most recently she was awarded the Margaret Donaldson Award from the British Psychology Society for her outstanding contribution to developmental psychology.
Helen held an ESRC Future Research Leaders grant between 2014 and 2019 and currently holds a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship, which funds a program of work examining the relationship between children's adventurous play and mental health. Helen regularly writes about children’s play and contributes to public discussions about the role of play in supporting children’s mental health. During the pandemic Helen played a leading role in the @playfirstUK group, who campaigned for children's play to be prioritised and for a #SummerOfPlay.
Alongside her work on adventurous play, Helen collaborates on a number of other projects which focus on better understanding pathways to anxiety in young children and how to support children and families to prevent mental health problems. She has expertise in longitudinal data analysis, eyetracking, observational research, experimental design and developmental psychology more broadly
- PhD Cognitive Science
- BSc Applied Psychology
- Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice
Helen’s primary research focus is on understanding risk factors for child anxiety and developing approaches to prevent child anxiety. Her current research strongly focuses on children’s play and links between play and mental health. She holds a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship which funds a programme of work examining adventurous play as a mechanism for decreasing children’s anxiety risk.
Helen has worked extensively on longitudinal research examining the role of child temperament, family environment and child cognition in predicting children’s anxiety and continues to collaborate on a range of projects within this overarching research focus, including further projects on children’s play and longitudinal and intervention research focused on anxiety and intolerance of uncertainty.
In addition, Helen collaborates on projects examining the impact of the pandemic on children’s mental health and large-scale projects focused on improving well-being within cities.
- Adventurous play as a mechanism for reducing children’s anxiety (UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship)
- Online parent intervention to prevent anxiety disorders in at-risk children (https://osiresearch.org.uk/my-cats/)
- Intolerance of Uncertainty and child anxiety; toward a better understanding.
- Pandemic Play Archive: an archive of children’s play during the Covid-19 pandemic
- IN-HABIT (Inclusive health and wellbeing in small and medium size cities).
- COVID-19: Supporting Parents, Adolescents and Children during Epidemics (Co-SPACE).
Publications by category
Publications by year
Helen_Dodd Details from cache as at 2021-10-26 14:26:19
External Engagement and Impact
Awards and distinctions
- Awarded the Margaret Donaldson Memorial Prize (2021) for outstanding contribution to Developmental Psychology within 10 years of qualifying.
- Nominee for the Kathy Sylva ‘Rising Star’ Award 2020, Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH).
- Invited member of the inaugural Foundation for Science and Technology Future Leaders Programme (2019-2020). See https://www.foundation.org.uk/Future-Leaders
- British Psychology Society Postdoctoral Study Visit Award (2011)
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), Career Development Award (2011)
- Helen regularly delivers public lectures and is an invited speaker for a range of events, including events for parents, the play sector, schools and educators. She also regularly gives academic talks as an invited speaker.
Journal and book series Editorships and Editorial board membership
- Consulting Editor, Child Development
- Editorial Board, Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
- Associate Editorial Board, Behaviour Research and Therapy
- Helen has been interviewed for television a number of times and her work has been featured on Victoria Derbyshire, BBC news, Sky News and Politics South.
- Helen is regularly quoted in news outlets internationally, including The Times, The Washington Post, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Fox News, Yahoo! News, MSN News, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Conversation and The Evening Standard. Helen’s work creating a Pandemic Play archive was featured on the front page of The Sunday Times in December 2020.
- Helen has recorded a range of podcasts including one for Nature Magazine and one for the Black Dog Institute.
- Helen is regularly interviewed on the radio ad has been an invited guest on a number of radio shows including the All in The Mind Christmas special on children’s Play and BBC Radio 4’s ‘The World Tonight’.