Dr Emily Freeman is a Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Newcastle. Her current research focus is on child development, with an interest in both cognitive and social and emotional development. She is particularly interested in the role of play between parents and children and how this lays the foundations for positive child developmental outcomes.
I completed my PhD in Cognitive Psychology exploring the effects of lexical characteristics of stimuli, study and test contexts in recognition memory. During my Post-Doc I used EEG and state-trace analysis to examine the process(es) underlying recognition memory decisions. More recently, I have been involved in projects examining working memory. Alongside an Industry Partner, I have worked to validate a new measure of working memory, the Working Memory Power Test for Children, and has explored the relationship between working memory and achievement in Primary School aged children.
In her my most recent research endeavour, I have been exploring the role of father-child rough-and-tumble play (RTP) on child development. Through numerous projects in collaboration with numerous national and international researchers, I have published research looking at topics including how to measure the quality of play interactions, how RTP is related to fewer behavioural problems and increased prosocial behaviour in children, and even the relationship between RTP and injury risk. For an overview of these studies, head over to The Conversation for a brief overview: Kids Learn Valuable Life Skills through Rough and Tumble Play with their Dads.