COLLEGE OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH
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Professor Helen Dodd

Professor Helen Dodd

 South Cloisters 2.05b

 

South Cloisters, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK

Overview

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

Qualifications

  • PhD Cognitive Science
  • BSc Applied Psychology
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice

Research

Research interests

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.

Research projects

  • 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

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category


Journal articles

Stuijfzand S, Reynolds S, Stuijfzand B, Dodd H (In Press). Anxiety Related Attention Bias in Four to Eight-Year-Olds: an Eye-Tracking Study.  Abstract.
Dodd HF, Lester KJ (2021). Adventurous Play as a Mechanism for Reducing Risk for Childhood Anxiety: a Conceptual Model. CLINICAL CHILD AND FAMILY PSYCHOLOGY REVIEW, 24(1), 164-181. Author URL.
Dodd HF, Fitzgibbon L, Watson BE, Nesbit RJ (2021). Children’s play and independent mobility in 2020: Results from the british children’s play survey. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(8). Abstract.
Dodd HF, Nesbit RJ, Maratchi LR (2021). Development and evaluation of a new measure of children’s play: the Children’s Play Scale (CPS). BMC Public Health, 21(1). Abstract.
Osmanağaoğlu N, Creswell C, Dodd HF (2021). Development of a behavioural measure of Intolerance of Uncertainty in preadolescent children: Adaptation of the beads task. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 72 Abstract.
Osmanağaoğlu N, Creswell C, Snuggs S, Stuijfzand S, Dodd HF (2021). Evaluating the psychometric properties of the intolerance of uncertainty scale for children in a preadolescent sample. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 77 Abstract.
Wake S, Morriss J, Johnstone T, van Reekum CM, Dodd H (2021). Intolerance of uncertainty, and not social anxiety, is associated with compromised extinction of social threat. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 139 Abstract.
Nesbit RJ, Bagnall CL, Harvey K, Dodd HF (2021). Perceived Barriers and Facilitators of Adventurous Play in Schools: a Qualitative Systematic Review. CHILDREN-BASEL, 8(8). Author URL.
Wake S, van Reekum CM, Dodd H (2021). The effect of social anxiety on the acquisition and extinction of low-cost avoidance. Behav Res Ther, 146 Abstract.  Author URL.
Stuijfzand S, Stuijfzand B, Reynolds S, Dodd H (2020). Anxiety-Related Attention Bias in Four- to Eight-Year-Olds: an Eye-Tracking Study. Behav Sci (Basel), 10(12). Abstract.  Author URL.
Morriss J, Wake S, Lindner M, McSorley E, Dodd H (2020). How many times do I need to see to believe? the impact of intolerance of uncertainty and exposure experience on safety-learning and retention in young adults. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 153, 8-17. Abstract.
Dodd HF, Rayson H, Ryan Z, Bishop C, Parsons S, Stuijfzand B (2020). Trajectories of Anxiety When Children Start School: the Role of Behavioral Inhibition and Attention Bias to Angry and Happy Faces. JOURNAL OF ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY, 129(7), 701-712. Author URL.
Stuijfzand S, Chakrabarti B, Reynolds S, Dodd HF (2019). Look out captain, I hear an ambiguous alien! a study of interpretation bias and anxiety in young children. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 121 Abstract.
Osmanağaoğlu N, Creswell C, Dodd HF (2018). Intolerance of Uncertainty, anxiety, and worry in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 225, 80-90. Abstract.
Dodd HF, Vogt J, Turkileri N, Notebaert L (2017). Task relevance of emotional information affects anxiety-linked attention bias in visual search. BIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY, 122, 13-20. Author URL.
Stuijfzand S, Dodd HF (2017). Young children have social worries too: Validation of a brief parent report measure of social worries in children aged 4–8 years. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 50, 87-93. Abstract.
Ooi J, Dodd HF, Stuijfzand BG, Walsh J, Broeren S (2016). Do you think I should be scared? the effect of peer discussion on children's fears. BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH AND THERAPY, 87, 23-33. Author URL.
Dodd HF, Hudson JL, Williams T, Morris T, Lazarus RS, Byrow Y (2015). Anxiety and Attentional Bias in Preschool-Aged Children: an Eyetracking Study. JOURNAL OF ABNORMAL CHILD PSYCHOLOGY, 43(6), 1055-1065. Author URL.
Dodd HF, Stuijfzand S, Morris T, Hudson JL (2015). Child Anxiety and the Processing of Ambiguity. COGNITIVE THERAPY AND RESEARCH, 39(5), 669-677. Author URL.

Publications by year


In Press

Stuijfzand S, Reynolds S, Stuijfzand B, Dodd H (In Press). Anxiety Related Attention Bias in Four to Eight-Year-Olds: an Eye-Tracking Study.  Abstract.

2021

Dodd HF, Lester KJ (2021). Adventurous Play as a Mechanism for Reducing Risk for Childhood Anxiety: a Conceptual Model. CLINICAL CHILD AND FAMILY PSYCHOLOGY REVIEW, 24(1), 164-181. Author URL.
Dodd HF, Fitzgibbon L, Watson BE, Nesbit RJ (2021). Children’s play and independent mobility in 2020: Results from the british children’s play survey. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(8). Abstract.
Dodd HF, Nesbit RJ, Maratchi LR (2021). Development and evaluation of a new measure of children’s play: the Children’s Play Scale (CPS). BMC Public Health, 21(1). Abstract.
Osmanağaoğlu N, Creswell C, Dodd HF (2021). Development of a behavioural measure of Intolerance of Uncertainty in preadolescent children: Adaptation of the beads task. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 72 Abstract.
Osmanağaoğlu N, Creswell C, Snuggs S, Stuijfzand S, Dodd HF (2021). Evaluating the psychometric properties of the intolerance of uncertainty scale for children in a preadolescent sample. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 77 Abstract.
Wake S, Morriss J, Johnstone T, van Reekum CM, Dodd H (2021). Intolerance of uncertainty, and not social anxiety, is associated with compromised extinction of social threat. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 139 Abstract.
Nesbit RJ, Bagnall CL, Harvey K, Dodd HF (2021). Perceived Barriers and Facilitators of Adventurous Play in Schools: a Qualitative Systematic Review. CHILDREN-BASEL, 8(8). Author URL.
Wake S, van Reekum CM, Dodd H (2021). The effect of social anxiety on the acquisition and extinction of low-cost avoidance. Behav Res Ther, 146 Abstract.  Author URL.

2020

Stuijfzand S, Stuijfzand B, Reynolds S, Dodd H (2020). Anxiety-Related Attention Bias in Four- to Eight-Year-Olds: an Eye-Tracking Study. Behav Sci (Basel), 10(12). Abstract.  Author URL.
Morriss J, Wake S, Lindner M, McSorley E, Dodd H (2020). How many times do I need to see to believe? the impact of intolerance of uncertainty and exposure experience on safety-learning and retention in young adults. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 153, 8-17. Abstract.
Dodd HF, Rayson H, Ryan Z, Bishop C, Parsons S, Stuijfzand B (2020). Trajectories of Anxiety When Children Start School: the Role of Behavioral Inhibition and Attention Bias to Angry and Happy Faces. JOURNAL OF ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY, 129(7), 701-712. Author URL.

2019

Stuijfzand S, Chakrabarti B, Reynolds S, Dodd HF (2019). Look out captain, I hear an ambiguous alien! a study of interpretation bias and anxiety in young children. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 121 Abstract.

2018

Osmanağaoğlu N, Creswell C, Dodd HF (2018). Intolerance of Uncertainty, anxiety, and worry in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 225, 80-90. Abstract.

2017

Dodd HF, Vogt J, Turkileri N, Notebaert L (2017). Task relevance of emotional information affects anxiety-linked attention bias in visual search. BIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY, 122, 13-20. Author URL.
Stuijfzand S, Dodd HF (2017). Young children have social worries too: Validation of a brief parent report measure of social worries in children aged 4–8 years. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 50, 87-93. Abstract.

2016

Ooi J, Dodd HF, Stuijfzand BG, Walsh J, Broeren S (2016). Do you think I should be scared? the effect of peer discussion on children's fears. BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH AND THERAPY, 87, 23-33. Author URL.

2015

Dodd HF, Hudson JL, Williams T, Morris T, Lazarus RS, Byrow Y (2015). Anxiety and Attentional Bias in Preschool-Aged Children: an Eyetracking Study. JOURNAL OF ABNORMAL CHILD PSYCHOLOGY, 43(6), 1055-1065. Author URL.
Dodd HF, Stuijfzand S, Morris T, Hudson JL (2015). Child Anxiety and the Processing of Ambiguity. COGNITIVE THERAPY AND RESEARCH, 39(5), 669-677. Author URL.

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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)

Invited lectures

  • 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

Editorial responsibilities:

  • Consulting Editor, Child Development
  • Editorial Board, Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
  • Associate Editorial Board, Behaviour Research and Therapy

Media Coverage

  • 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’.

Teaching

Supervision / Group

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