Published: 21st May 2022
Kids being adventurous while playing? Let them be! Study says they might have better mental health
The research team surveyed around 2,500 parents of children aged 5-11 years as part of their extensive survey. It was published in Child Psychiatry and Human Development
As per a new study, there may be lower symptoms of anxiety and depression in children who invest more time playing adventurously.
School going kids between 5-11, who spend the most time playing outside had fewer "internalising problems", which are usually identified as anxiety and depression. Moreover, these children were also more positive during the first lockdown, a study published in Child Psychiatry and Human Development, as per a report in IANS.
"We are more concerned than ever about children's mental health, and our findings highlight that we might be able to help protect children's mental health by ensuring they have plentiful opportunities for adventurous play," said researcher Helen Dodd from the University of Exeter, who led the study.
"This is really positive because play is free, instinctive and rewarding for children, available to everyone, and does not require special skills. We now urgently need to invest in and protect natural spaces, well-designed parks and adventure playgrounds, to support the mental health of our children," Dodd added, as quoted in a report by IANS.
The researchers shared that the study sought to test theories that adventurous play offers learning opportunities that will help prevent mental health problems by building resilience in children.
The research team surveyed around 2,500 parents of children aged 5-11 years as part of the survey. Parents were asked to complete a few questions regarding their child's play, their general mental health (pre-COVID) and their mood during the first COVID-19 lockdown.
The examination was carried out with two groups of parents, divided between a group of 427 parents living in Northern Ireland and a nationally representative group of 1,919 parents living in the UK.