Sabirah Adams


Sabirah Adams is an Associate Professor and registered Research psychologist. She obtained a PhD (Psychology) from the University of the Western Cape. Her research expertise is within the areas of capacity development of emerging researchers, academic literacies in higher education, children’s well-being and quality of life, environmental sustainability and children’s geographies, and participatory research with children. She is the principal investigator of four multinational studies: - Emerging researchers' perceptions and experiences of academic writing in the quantitative sciences: A multinational study; - Multinational Qualitative Study on Children’s Understandings of Well-Being study (South Africa); - Children’s Worlds; and -Children’s Environmental Subjective Well-being in South Africa: A child-centred study. She convenes the Research Writing in the Sciences short course that aims to develop postgraduate students’ academic literacies in science for dissemination. She also facilitates various workshops on writing for publication, within and outside the UCT. She supervises master’s and PhD students.


Selected Publications

  • Savahl, S., Adams, S., & Hoosen, P. (2023). The subjective and psychological well-being of children in South Africa: A population-based study. Applied Research in Quality of Life.1-20.

  • Adams, S. & Savahl, S. (2022). A social justice perspective on children's well-being: Considerations for children’s rights in the context of COVID-19. In G. Tonon, Social Justice for Children in the South (pp. 61 – 82). Springer.

  • Adams, S. & Savahl, S. (2022). Negotiating safe spaces: Children’s discursive constructions of safety and vulnerability in a context of violence. In D. Benatuil, M. Lau, and H. Tiliouine, Handbook of children’s risk, vulnerability, and quality of life (pp. 101 – 117). Springer.

  • Savahl, S., & Adams, S. (2022). Conducting Participatory Research on Children’s Subjective Well-Being: At the Interface of Ethics and Methods. In Tonon, G. (Ed), Re-defining Children’s Participation in the Countries of the South (pp.15 – 32). Kindheit – Bildung – Erziehung. Philosophische Perspektiven. J.B. Metzler, Berlin, Heidelberg.

  • Savahl, S., Casas, F., & Adams, S. (2021). The structure of children's subjective well-being. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, http://doi.10.3389/fpsyg.2021.650691

  • Adams, S., Savahl, S., Florence, M., Mpilo, M., & Isobell, D. (2020). Training Emerging Researchers in Constrained Contexts: Conducting Quality of Life Research with Children in South Africa (pp. 277-300). In G. Tonon, Teaching Quality of Life in Different Domains. Dordrecht: Springer.

  • Adams, S., Savahl, S., Florence, M. (2019). Considering the natural environment in the creation of Child-Friendly: Implications for Children’s Subjective Well-Being. Child Indicators Research. DOI: 10.1007/s12187-018-9531-x

  • Adams, S., & Savahl, S. & Fattore, T. (2017). Children’s representations of nature using photovoice and community mapping: Perspectives from South Africa. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being.

  • Adams, S. & Savahl, S. (2017). Nature as children's space: A systematic review. The Journal of Environmental Education, 48,5, 291-321, https://doi.10.1080/00958964.2017.1366160 

  • Adams, S., Savahl, S., & Casas, F. (2016). The relationship between children’s perceptions of the natural environment and their subjective well-being. Children’s Geographies, 14(6), 641-655, http://doi.10.1080/14733285.2016.115751