Thea Toft Amholt

Research area

I conduct research on how we facilitate the best possibilities for children's social, mental, and physical well-being. I find my work meaningful when my research contributes to initiating actions providing children with more secure, happier, and healthier lives.

I am a psychologist educated from the University of Copenhagen, and I have previously worked with assessing and intervening in the families and school contexts of vulnerable children. I have written a PhD on children's play, development, and physical activity with a focus on how we design outdoor spaces that motivate children to be physically active with their friends. I work both quantitatively and qualitatively, and I have experience with device-based measures of physical activity (with GPS and accelerometry), structured observations, surveys, and interviews.

In my position as a postdoc at CKFF, I have a special focus on children's social, mental, and physical health in projects that intervene in school and family contexts. In the projects that I am currently a part of, I work with physical activity, motivation, physical literacy, and attachment.

Selected publications:

Amholt, T. T., Jespersen, J. F., Zacho, M., Timperio, A., & Schipperijn, J. (2022). Where are tweens

active in school playgrounds? A hot-spot analysis using GPS, accelerometer, and GIS data. Landscape

and Urban Planning, 227, 104546. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2022.104546


Amholt, T. T., Westerskov Dalgas, B., Veitch, J., Ntoumanis, N., Fich Jespersen, J., Schipperijn, J., &

Pawlowski, C. (2022). Motivating playgrounds: Understanding how school playgrounds support

autonomy, competence, and relatedness of tweens. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on

Health and Well-Being, 17(1), 2096085. https://doi.org/10.1080/17482631.2022.2096085


Amholt, T. T., Pawlowski, C. S., Jespersen, J. F., & Schipperijn, J. (2022). Investigating the use of

playgrounds by tweens: A systematic observation study. International Journal of Play, 1–19.



Liu, J., Dammeyer, J., Amholt, T. T., Carter, R. A., & Niclasen, J. (2022). Evaluation of the Anger

Management Intervention Program, the Mini-Diamond, Targeted Primary School Students: A

Controlled Trial with Focus on Well-Being. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 66(4), 672–

684. https://doi.org/10.1080/00313831.2021.1910558


Niclasen, J., Amholt, T. T., Carter, R., & Dammeyer, J. (2021). Teachers' self-efficacy: Associations with

teacher and student characteristics and effects of the anger management intervention, the Mini-

Diamond. Advances in Educational Research and Evaluation, 2(2), 166–176.



Amholt, T. T., Dammeyer, J., Carter, R., & Niclasen, J. (2020). Psychological Well-Being and Academic

Achievement among School-Aged Children: A Systematic Review. Child Indicators Research.


Responsible editor