My dissertation research has been inspired by my practical work as a child and youth counsellor. North America is currently seeing increasing prevalence in child and youth anxiety. My research explores why this occurring, and what we can do about it.  

For my masters thesis, I travelled to Norway to research risk taking in children's play. Children's risky play is decreasing in modern day, and this may be negatively effecting children healthy child development and mental health. Children are missing the opportunity to expose themselves to sensations of fear in their play and are not having the chance to learn that they can manage these emotions. This may be one of the contributing factors to increases in anxiety.

Given my background as an Olympic athlete, I have conducted some research investigating leadership development in sport. I have examined models of coach leadership, as well as personal leadership competencies athletes develop and refine through their engagement with sport. 

Research Interests:

  • child and youth mental health

  • anxiety

  • nature-based therapy

  • leadership in sport

  • risky play 

  • early childhood education and development


Harper, N.J, Mott, A. J., & Obee, P. (2019). Client perspectives on wilderness therapy as a

component of adolescent residential treatment for problematic substance use and mental health issues. Child and Youth Services Review, 104450. [co-author, co-data analyst]


Obee, P. (2019). Risky play in early childhood education and care in Norway (Unpublished

masters thesis). University of Victoria, BC, Canada. [primary conceptualization, author and investigator]


Obee, P., Sandseter, E. B. H., & Harper, N. J. (2020). Children’s use of environmental features

affording risky play in early childhood education and care. Early Childhood Development and Care. [primary conceptualization, author, and investigator]


Obee, P., Sandseter, E. B. H., Gerlach., A., & Harper, N. J. (2020). Lessons learning from

Norway on risky play in early childhood education and care (ECEC). Early Childhood Education and Care. [primary conceptualization, author, and investigator]


Walinga, J., Obee, P., Cunningham, J. B. & Cyr, D. (accepted, December 2019). The Role of Leadership

Development for Enhancing Performance Outcomes in Sport. International Journal of Sport and Society.




R. Harper, N. J., & Obee, P. (revised). Articulating risky play in forest school early childhood

education programs across Vancouver Island. Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning Journal. [co-conceptualization, co-author and primary investigator]


Leather, M., Harper, N. J., & Obee, P. (revised). A paradox of play: Neoliberal influences on

pedagogy in higher education and its constraints on Millennials and the new economy. Journal of Experiential Learning. [co-author]


Patricia Obee, MA, RCC, OLY


Victoria, BC