Alphablocks Nursery School’s mission is to provide outstanding early education, empowering children to become confident learners. A great deal is already known about how this can be done effectively, but a lot more remains to be explored and discovered.
Alphablocks Research Lab conducts fundamental research in early cognition and development collaborating with leading experts in developmental psychology, childhood education, and beyond. The focus is on child and adolescent adjustment from a social-emotional and cognitive perspective, paying attention to both lifelong learning and mental health outcomes.
Long-term impact of theory of mind & prosocial behaviour in children
Theory of mind is a crucial component of social cognition, which is fundamental for social competence, the ability to navigate the social world. These abilities are at the heart of what it takes for a child to grow into a well-adjusted person, with better life outcomes and fewer challenges to their well-being.
In this project, we examine the role of theory of mind and social competence in risk-taking behaviours later in life, and in mental health trajectories from childhood through to adolescence. You can read more about this project here: The long-term impact of early social cognition & Theory of Mind
Tsomokos, D. I. & Flouri, E.: Superior social cognitive abilities in childhood are associated with better reward-seeking strategies in adolescence: evidence for a Social-Motivational Flexibility Model. advances.in/psychology, 1(1), 1-19, https://doi.org/10.56296/aip00002
Tsomokos, D. I. & Flouri, E.: The role of social cognition in mental health trajectories from childhood to adolescence. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-023-02187-8
Sleep, greenspace & the built environment: impact on youth development
The role of sleep and chronotype has been recognised as a major factor in human health and well-being. Recent findings suggest that children growing up in neighbourhoods with pollution, traffic and crime are at risk of adverse development and behavioural problems. On the other hand, access to green spaces has been linked to positive outcomes for children and adolescents, including improved cognitive function, reduced stress and anxiety, and greater physical activity.
In this project, we investigate how the built environment, green and blue spaces, air pollution, and related factors affect childhood / adolescent health and behaviour, for instance, sleep patterns.
D. I. Tsomokos, Dongying Ji , Marie A. E. Mueller , Efstathios Papachristou & Eirini Flouri: The effect of urban greenspace on adolescent sleep patterns, Landscape Research (2023) 1-15, https://doi.org/10.1080/01426397.2023.2241387