Publications by year
Nesbit RJ, Harvey K, Parveen S, Dodd HF
(In Press). Adventurous Play in Schools:. The Parent Perspective.
Adventurous Play in Schools:. The Parent Perspective.
Adventurous play (play that is exciting and thrilling, where children take age-appropriate risks, for example climbing trees and jumping from rocks) is increasingly being recognised as beneficial for child health and development. Despite this, children’s opportunities for and engagement in this type of play have declined in recent decades. Breaktimes in schools may provide an ideal opportunity to provide adventurous play opportunities for all children. Recent work has identified myriad factors that help and hinder schools in offering adventurous play opportunities, but parent perspectives have largely been absent. Through one-to-one semi-structured qualitative interviews, this study aims to capture parents’ perspectives on adventurous play happening in schools and what they perceive as the key barriers to and facilitators of adventurous play in schools. The findings were analysed using reflective thematic analysis. Five themes were identified: Needs, Schools as Gatekeepers, Risks and Benefits, Societal Constraints and Individual Differences. Findings are discussed with reference to parental support for adventurous play, as well as parent and school level needs that should be addressed if barriers that may hinder adventurous play opportunities in school are to be overcome. Abstract
Nesbit RJ, Bagnall CL, Harvey K, Dodd HF
(In Press). Perceived Barriers and Facilitators of Adventurous Play in Schools: a qualitative systematic review.
Perceived Barriers and Facilitators of Adventurous Play in Schools: a qualitative systematic review
Adventurous play, defined as exciting, thrilling play where children are able to take age-appropriate risks has been associated with a wide range of positive outcomes. Despite this, it remains unclear what factors might aid or hinder schools in offering adventurous play opportu-nities. The purpose of this systematic review is to synthesise findings from qualitative studies on the perceived barriers and facilitators of adventurous play in schools. A total of nine studies were included in the final synthesis. The review used two synthesis strategies: a meta-aggregative syn-thesis and narrative synthesis. Findings were similar across the two syntheses, highlighting that key barriers and facilitators were: adults’ perceptions of children; adults’ attitudes and beliefs about adventurous play and concerns pertaining to health; and, safety and concerns about legis-lation. Based on the findings of the review, recommendations for policy and practice as provided to support adventurous play in schools. Abstract
Oliver BE, Nesbit RJ, McCloy R, Harvey K, Dodd HF (2023). Adventurous play for a healthy childhood: Facilitators and barriers identified by parents in Britain. Social Science & Medicine, 323, 115828-115828.
Dodd HF, Nesbit RJ, FitzGibbon L
(2022). Child's Play: Examining the Association Between Time Spent Playing and Child Mental Health. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev
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. Abstract
. Author URL
Dodd HF, FitzGibbon L, Watson BE, Nesbit RJ
(2022). Correction: Dodd et al. Children's Play and Independent Mobility in 2020: Results from the British Children's Play Survey. Int. J. Environ. Hum. Health 2021, 18, 4334. Int J Environ Res Public Health
Correction: Dodd et al. Children's Play and Independent Mobility in 2020: Results from the British Children's Play Survey. Int. J. Environ. Hum. Health 2021, 18, 4334.
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Oliver BE, Nesbit RJ, McCloy R, Harvey K, Dodd HF (2022). Parent Perceived Barriers and Facilitators of Children’s Adventurous Play in Britain: a Framework Analysis.
Oliver BE, Nesbit RJ, McCloy R, Harvey K, Dodd HF
(2022). Parent perceived barriers and facilitators of children’s adventurous play in Britain: a framework analysis. BMC Public Health
Parent perceived barriers and facilitators of children’s adventurous play in Britain: a framework analysis
. From a public health perspective there is growing interest in children’s play, including play involving risk and adventure, in relation to children’s physical and mental health. Regarding mental health, it is theorised that adventurous play, where children experience thrilling, exciting emotions, offers important learning opportunities that prepare children for dealing with uncertainty and help prevent anxiety. Despite these benefits, adventurous play has decreased substantially within a generation. Parents have a key role in facilitating or limiting children’s opportunities for adventurous play, but research identifying the barriers and facilitators parents perceive in relation to adventurous play is scarce. The present study therefore examined the barriers to and facilitators of adventurous play as perceived by parents of school-aged children in Britain.
. This study analysed data from a subsample of parents in Britain (n = 377) who participated in the nationally representative British Children’s Play Survey. Parents responded to two open-ended questions pertaining to the barriers to and facilitators of children’s adventurous play. Responses were analysed using a qualitative Framework Analysis, an approach suitable for managing large datasets with specific research questions.
. Four framework categories were identified: Social Environment; Physical Environment; Risk of Injury; Child Factors. Social Environment included barriers and facilitators related to parents, family and peers, as well as community and society. Dominant themes within the Social Environment related to perceptions about the certainty of child safety, such as supervision and the safety of society. Beliefs about the benefits of adventurous play for development and well-being were also important in the Social Environment. Physical Environment factors focused on safety and practical issues. Risk of Injury captured concerns about children being injured during play. Child Factors included child attributes, such as play preference, developmental ability and trait-like characteristics.
. Improved understanding of what influences parent perceptions of adventurous play can inform public health interventions designed to improve children’s opportunities for and engagement in adventurous play, with a view to promote children’s physical and mental health.
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
Children’s play and independent mobility in 2020: Results from the british children’s play survey
The British Children’s Play Survey was conducted in April 2020 with a nationally representative sample of 1919 parents/caregivers with a child aged 5–11 years. Respondents completed a range of measures focused on children’s play, independent mobility and adult tolerance of and attitudes towards risk in play. The results show that, averaged across the year, children play for around 3 h per day, with around half of children’s play happening outdoors. Away from home, the most common places for children to play are playgrounds and green spaces. The most adventurous places for play were green spaces and indoor play centres. A significant difference was found between the age that children were reported to be allowed out alone (10.74 years; SD = 2.20 years) and the age that their parents/caregivers reported they had been allowed out alone (8.91 years; SD = 2.31 years). A range of socio-demographic factors were associated with children’s play. There was little evidence that geographical location predicted children’s play, but it was more important for independent mobility. Further, when parents/caregivers had more positive attitudes around children’s risk-taking in play, children spent more time playing and were allowed to be out of the house independently at a younger age. 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
Development and evaluation of a new measure of children’s play: the Children’s Play Scale (CPS)
Background: There is increasing recognition of the importance of children’s play from a public health perspective, given the links between play and children’s physical and mental health. The present research aimed to develop and evaluate a new parent-report questionnaire that measures the time children spend playing across a range of places and includes a supplement to evaluate how adventurously children play. Methods: the questionnaire was developed with input from a diverse group of parents and experts in children’s play. It was designed to yield a range of metrics including time spent playing per year, time spent playing outside, time spent playing in nature and level of adventurous play. The reliability of the questionnaire was then evaluated with 245 parents (149 mothers, 96 fathers) of 154 children aged 5–11 years. All participants completed the measure at time 1. At time 2, an average of 20 days later, 184 parents (111 mothers and 73 fathers) of 99 children completed the measure again. Results: Cross-informant agreement, evaluated using Concordance Correlation Coefficients (CCCs), ranged from 0.36 to 0.51. These fall in the poor to moderate range and are largely comparable to cross-informant agreement on other measures. Test-retest reliability for mothers was good (range 0.67–0.76) for time spent playing metrics. For fathers, test-retest reliability was lower (range 0.39–0.63). For both parents the average level of adventurous play variable had relatively poor test retest reliability (mothers = 0.49, fathers = 0.42). This variable also showed a significant increase from time 1 to time 2. This instability over time may be due to the timing of the research in relation to the Covid-19 lockdown and associated shifts in risk perception. Conclusions: the measure will be of value in future research focusing on the public health benefits and correlates of children’s play as well as researchers interested in children’s outdoor play and play in nature specifically. The development of the measure in collaboration with parents and experts in children’s play is a significant strength. It will be of value for future research to further validate the measure against play diaries or activity monitors. 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). Author URL
Dodd H, Nesbit RJ, Maratchi L (2020). Development and Evaluation of a New Measure of Children’s Play: the Children’s Play Scale (CPS).
Nesbit RJ, Watling D
(2019). The role of audience familiarity and activity outcome in children's understanding of disclaimers. BRITISH JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
(2), 230-246. Author URL