Mariana Brussoni

Wall Associate


Associate Professor


Department of Pediatrics





Geographic Location

Mariana Brussoni

Mariana Brussoni’s research focuses on understanding injuries in children and youth, and measuring the physical, psychosocial and financial impacts of injuries on children, their families and the health care system. She also investigates the importance of outdoor risky play for children’s healthy development, and how built outdoor environment impacts children’s play. Information on her lab can be found here .

Primary Recipient Awards

Mariana Brussoni – International Research Roundtables – 2021

A growing number of outdoor programs for preschool-aged children have been established in British Columbia following models from Germany, Scandinavia, Switzerland, and the UK. During the COVID-19 pandemic, public health recommendations encourage British Columbians to go outside to reduce transmission risks. COVID-19 combined with the mounting research on the importance of outdoor play for children’s learning, development and health has meant that outdoor early childhood programs are gaining momentum.1 Under the provincial Community Care and Assisted Living Act, licensed child care requires an indoor facility and Outdoor-based early childhood programs must operate independent of current Child Care Licensing Regulations. Amidst a second wave of COVID-19 and new growth in the outdoor-based early childhood field, now is the time to re-examine this.
Advancing Early Childhood Education Outdoors Now explores the health and educational benefits of being outside, successful international models of early childhood education outdoors, and paths for advancing licensing outdoor early childhood education in British Columbia.
Virtual Roundtable website

Mariana Brussoni – Research Mentoring Program – 2013

Mentor: Professor Susan Herrington, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Department of Applied Science
Play Worth Remembering: Gaining Public Insights into Memories of Outdoor Play Spaces

Co-Principal Investigator Awards

Eva Oberle – International Research Roundtables – 2018

Levelling the playing fields: Developing strategies to promote outdoor play in schools and communities

Project website

Free outdoor play—such as jumping in a pile of leaves, and climbing trees—is a child’s right and has a wide range of benefits. It is active, fosters creativity, teaches children about their natural environment, and promotes positive cognitive, social, and emotional development. Over the past decades, outdoor play has declined sharply while sedentary activities have increased steadily. This trend is linked to serious health problems, including childhood obesity and mental health problems. Scholars and child’s right activists globally are concerned and have called for action to offset this trend.

Our Roundtable intends to develop a strategy for systematically creating opportunities for outdoor play in communities and schools in Canada.

  1. Expert researchers, stakeholders, policy makers, and practitioners will develop a common theoretical framework for defining and measuring outdoor play by synthesizing the diverse theoretical and practical perspectives that are held on this topic.
  2. We will identify key indicator questions for measuring outdoor play, and make a plan for developing, validating, and testing a “Play Assessment Module”; a foundational step towards advancing advocacy efforts and develop policies and practice.
  3. We will discuss how to incorporate the “Play Assessment Module” into an existing infrastructure for population-level longitudinal child development assessment across Canada, including the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP, UBC). This step is critical to achieve a sustainable system of assessing, monitoring, and improving outdoor play in communities. Through our discussions, we expect to achieve the consensus that is needed to advance and catalyze research, policy, and practice of outdoor play.