The Curious Story of Adolescent’s Nature Connection

A number of research have now discovered that there’s a ‘teenage dip’ in nature connectedness. On this newest analysis, expertly led by Durrell Wildlife Conservation Belief, we regarded into youngsters’s nature connectedness in additional element. It’s been printed in Present Analysis in Ecological and Social Psychology the place the full paper might be learn. This weblog offers a abstract.

Disconnected from favorite locations?

The survey focussed on one geographical space and surveyed 1872 youngsters between 7 and 18 years previous. The survey included a measure of nature connectedness plus a variety of different inquiries to discover the elements that could be associated to nature connection. These have been issues like sort of college funding, city/rural location and entry/engagement with nature-based actions, plus wider questions on display screen time, favorite locations and actions.

As with earlier analysis, the outcomes revealed a ‘teenage dip, in nature connectedness, which was extra pronounced in boys than women. It may be seen this was already in decline on the age of seven. Curiously, regardless of this dip, the survey discovered that adolescents’ favorite locations have been pure areas. So, though adolescents respect nature their emotional attachment and feeling of being a part of nature is diminished.

Kids’s nature connection by age

There was variation although, these younger individuals who most popular pure locations, each usually or for rest, had larger ranges of nature connectedness. Whereas these choosing residence as a favorite place had the bottom.

When requested about limitations to getting out into nature, essentially the most frequent response at 43% was that nothing was stopping them from going outdoors into nature. The second largest barrier was climate (21%), adopted by well being (10%), faculty/work (9%) and security (5%). Just like our work with adults on smartphones, we discovered a powerful adverse relationship between nature connectedness and self-reported display screen time, and this was constant throughout all age teams and in each sexes.

Whereas favorite locations have been pure areas, favorite actions weren’t in nature. Sports activities have been essentially the most continuously talked about actions (56% of individuals), then arts and crafts (35%), health (26%) and video games reminiscent of laptop video games (18%). A number of nature-based actions collectively got here in beneath 5% and a number of other of these actions weren’t essentially associated to constructing or sustaining nature connectedness.

As we all know that sure varieties of exercise in nature and engagement with nature are key to nature connectedness, it appears probably that the deal with non-nature actions is necessary. Nonetheless, the desire for pure areas offers a path by way of to growing extra nature based mostly actions, maybe combining them with different common actions reminiscent of arts and crafts that are effectively positioned to discover the pathways to nature connectedness.

The survey additionally discovered that rural faculties offered better entry to nature, significantly at major stage, than their city equivalents. So, it’s little shock that youngsters in rural faculties had larger ranges of nature connectedness than youngsters in city faculties – though this impact was weaker when solely secondary stage college students have been thought-about. We additionally discovered that youngsters attending non-fee-paying faculties had decrease nature connectedness ranges than these at fee-paying faculties, significantly at major stage.

So, in sum, whereas youngsters’s favorite locations are pure areas, their favorite actions will not be nature focussed and the degrees of nature connectedness replicate this. To kind a better relationship with nature and entry the advantages for psychological well being and pro-nature behaviour, there’s a want for nature to maneuver from a particular place, to a spot of engagement with nature – from a passive to an lively relationship.


About Miles

Utilized psychologist researching our reference to nature and methods to enhance it. Good for nature, good for you.

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