Higher Degree by Research Candidate
School of Psychology
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
I am passionate about understanding and promoting wellbeing throughout child development. My research investigates how the growth of attributes such as resilience and a sense of agency may be protective of mental health throughout childhood and beyond. I have a particular focus on nature engagement as a means for promoting such attributes, especially in the primary school context.
My research investigates the construct of resilience, and exposure to nature in primary schools as a possible intervention to bolster child resilience and wellbeing. Preliminary research by our group indicates that nature-based learning (lesson time spent outdoors in natural environments) can support child resilience leading to improved wellbeing, especially reductions in anxiety symptoms. My current research proposes to confirm these results in a large cohort while investigating the cognitive mechanisms underlying this pathway. In particular, the project will examine the role of agency—which encompasses a person’s self-efficacy to act on their environment, and their ability to predict, plan and execute intentional actions towards desired outcomes—as an underlying mechanism promoting wellbeing.
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