Karen Stagnitti PhD, BOccThy, GCHE. Karen is an occupational therapist by training who has a very strong interest in children’s play.
Karen is Research Professor and Personal Chair of Occupational Therapy and Associate Head of School (Research) in the School of Health & Social Development, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Australia.
Karen graduated with Bachelor Degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Queensland in the late 1970’s. For more than 20 years, Karen has worked and led community-based paediatric and specialist early childhood intervention programs. She has extensively worked with families, children, preschool and kindergarten teachers, early primary school teachers, doctors, paediatricians, speech therapists, occupational therapists, paediatric physiotherapists, psychologists, social workers, dieticians, specialist early childhood workers and early childhood workers.
In the early 1990’s she became serious about researching children’s play.
In 2003 she was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy from LaTrobe University. Her research work has primarily focused on how to measure a child’s pretend play within the confines of clinical practice. The result of this research led to the development of Child-Initiated Pretend Play Assessment (ChIPPA). Since 2003 Karen has continued to research children’s play including further studies on the reliability and validity of the ChIPPA as well as a highly successful intervention play therapy program called Learn to Play.