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Samantha Friedman


Department: Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

I completed my undergraduate degree in Special Education and History at Elon University in 2018. I then received a Fulbright grant to study in the UK; through my Fulbright, I earned my MSc Autism from the University of Strathclyde. I went on to start my PhD in Psychology at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Prof Claire Hughes and Prof Jenny Gibson. My PhD focused on nature's role in supporting wellbeing in several understudied contexts: in young children during the Covid-19 pandemic and in autistic people across the life course. 


Samantha Friedman

I research the use of natural spaces and nature-based learning methods to support wellbeing in autistic people of all ages.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • ‘The world is your oyster’: Mothers’ perspectives on the value and purpose of an independent Forest School provision, Friedman, S., Allin, L., Gray, W. 13 Feb 2024, In: Children's Geographies
  • Facilitating Nature-Based Learning With Autistic Students, Friedman, S., James, M., Brocklebank, J., Cox, S., Morrison, S. 4 Jul 2023, In: Childhood Education
  • “It Helps Make the Fuzzy Go Away”: Autistic Adults' Perspectives on Nature's Relationship with Well-being Through the Life Course, Friedman, S., Noble, R., Archer, S., Gibson, J., Hughes, C. 8 Sep 2023, In: Autism in Adulthood
  • Respite and connection: Autistic adults' reflections upon nature and well-being during the Covid-19 pandemic, Friedman, S., Noble, R., Archer, S., Gibson, J., Hughes, C. 1 Nov 2023, In: Autism
  • 'A new adventure': A case study of autistic children at Forest School, Friedman, S., Gibson, J., Jones, C., Hughes, C. 24 Aug 2022, In: Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning
  • Screen Time in the Coronavirus 2019 Era: International Trends of Increasing Use Among 3- to 7-Year-Old Children , Ribner, A., Coulanges, L., Friedman, S., Libertus, M. 1 Dec 2022, In: The Journal of Pediatrics
  • Understanding changes to children's connection to nature during the COVID-19 pandemic and implications for child well-being, Friedman, S., Imrie, S., Fink, E., Gedikoglu, M., Hughes, C. 1 Feb 2022, In: People and Nature
  • "I just want to stay out there all day": A case study of two special educators and five autistic children learning outside at school, Friedman, S., Morrison, S. 20 May 2021, In: Frontiers in Education

  • Psychology PhD December 09 2022
  • Education MSc November 10 2019
  • Education BA May 19 2018

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