This is another update from Natural England this time in relation to Nature Connectedness.

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Human-nature relationships in context. Experiential, psychological, and contextual dimensions that shape children’s desire to protect nature
M Giusti – PLoS ONE, 2019
What relationship with nature shapes children’s desire to protect the environment? This study crosses conventional disciplinary boundaries to explore this question. Overall, combining experiential, psychological, and contextual dimensions of HNC provides rich insights to advance the conceptualisation and assessment of human-nature relationships. People’s relationship with nature is better conceived and analysed as systems of relations between mind, body, culture, and environment, which progress through complex dynamics.

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A phenomenographic investigation into preschool children’s relationships with nature through drawings
Ahi & Atasoy – International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
As a result of the analyses, it was concluded that the children visually presented and narrated their relationships with nature positively. The age and gender variables were found to have led to statistically significant differences in the activities depicted in the drawings and the tone of the drawings, as well as the settings and people that are drawn in them. In light of the findings of this study, it can be argued that starting environmental education at an early age and enabling children to spend more time engaging with nature are important.

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Connectedness with nature and the decline of pro-environmental behavior in adolescence: A comparison of Canada and China.
Krettenauer et al – Journal of Environmental Psychology
A study involving 688 young people from Canada and China found that older adolescents from both countries demonstrated lower connectedness with nature than younger participants. While older adolescents also engaged in less pro-environmental behavior than younger participants, this applied more to Canadian than Chinese adolescents. This difference was attributed to differing cultural contexts.

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Children’s direct and indirect experiences with nature and their connectedness to nature
Mustapa et al – Planning Malaysia
Twenty schools, representing both urban and rural settings, participated in research examining Malaysian children’s direct and indirect experiences with nature. Results showed that the children had more indirect experiences with nature than direct experiences and that the indirect experiences had a significant positive impact on their connectedness to nature.

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The influence of childhood nature experience on attitudes and tolerance towards problem-causing animals in Singapore
Ngo, Hosaka & Numata – Urban Forestry and Urban Greening
Survey responses from over 1000 Singapore residents (age 18-69) indicated that most of them (over 50%) seldom or never played in natural environments or engaged in nature-related activities in their childhood. Most of the respondents also held neutral or negative attitudes towards wildlife in the city. Childhood nature experience proved to be the strongest predictor of wildlife attitude and tolerance.

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The role of social relational emotions for human-nature connectedness
E Petersen, AP Fiske, T Schubert – Frontiers in Psychology
Little is known about the psychological processes that can explain how connectedness to nature evolves. In this article, we argue that social connectedness and connectedness to nature are underpinned by the same emotions. More specifically, we propose that social relational emotions are crucial to understanding the process, how humans connect to nature. Beside other emotions, kama muta (Sanskrit: being moved by love) might play a particular role when connecting to nature. Future research should address the consideration of social relational emotions in a range of areas when investigating the human-nature relationship.

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The mediating role of place attachment between nature connectedness and human well-being: perspectives from Japan
M Basu, S Hashimoto, R Dasgupta – Sustainability Science
Analysis of survey data collected from Japanese nationals revealed place attachment to have a positive and significant mediating effect on the association between nature connectedness and well-being. Place attachment contributes to 30% of the total effect of nature connectedness on the well-being of the studied population. Furthermore, the study also observed the relationship between nature connectedness and place attachment, and place attachment and human well-being to be direct and significant. Thus, the current research supports the fact that higher levels of well-being associated with nature connectedness are due to the sense of attachment to a place that nature provides.

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How anthropomorphism is changing the social context of modern wildlife conservation
MJ Manfredo et al – Biological Conservation
This study proposes that anthropomorphism is a key factor in stimulating both wildlife value shift and changing attitudes toward wildlife management in modernized countries. This theoretical proposition was tested with a nationwide study of 43,949 U.S. subjects obtained by mail survey and e-mail panel. We found that, as expected, anthropomorphism is strongly related to mutualist values. It was weakly associated with modernization variables (income, urbanization, education) at the individual level and moderately associated at the state level.

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Addressing environmental knowledge and environmental attitude in undergraduate students through scientific argumentation
FA Faize, M Akhtar – Journal of Cleaner Production

  • Connecting students with nature impact the environmental attitude.
  • Engaging students in scientific argumentation improves environmental knowledge.
  • A positive correlation exists between environmental knowledge and attitude.
  • Improvement in Environmental knowledge and environmental attitude improves ecological behavior.

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Ecospirituality: A scale to measure an individual’s reverential respect for the environment
Suganthi – Ecopsycology
Connectedness to nature is multidimensional, and various scales have been developed to measure the affective and cognitive dimensions of this construct. This research adds to the literature by identifying spiritual aspects of connectedness to nature and developing an ecospirituality scale for measuring one’s reverential respect for the environment.

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The good things children notice in nature: An extended framework for reconnecting children with nature
C Harvey, J Hallam, M Richardson, R Wells – Urban Forestry & Urban Greening
This research identifies themes emerging from a children’s writing task, where they wrote about good things they noticed in nature over a five day period. Content analysis using an emergent coding approach identified ten themes, with “Active Animals” being the most frequently occurring theme. Combining the themes with Author pathways to nature connection provides an extended framework to inform children’s activity programmes, design of school grounds and urban spaces, aiming to connect children with nature.

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Assessing nature connection and well-being during an experiential environmental program
J Hinds, S O’Malley – Children Youth and Environments
This paper presents the findings of an outdoor experiential residential programme for a group of 96 children using self-report questionnaires to investigate the effects of the program for both wellbeing and nature connection. Results from a one month follow up indicated longitudinal positive effect on competence, hope and nature connection.

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Nature Connection in Early Childhood: A Quantitative Cross-Sectional Study

A Barrable, D Booth – Sustainability
This paper aims to examine the role of nature nurseries in the promotion of connection to nature, when compared to traditional nurseriesStatistical analyses were conducted for overall nature connection scores, individual dimension sub-scores and, for the children who attended nature nursery, against predictors. Results indicate that attending a nature nursery is associated with higher nature connection. Predictors for children’s connection to nature were parental nature connection, and total time spent in attendance of an outdoor nursery. This suggests a dose-response style relationship between attendance and nature connection.

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Associations between pro-environmental behaviour and neighbourhood nature, nature visit frequency and nature appreciation: Evidence from a nationally representative survey in England
I Alcock, MP White, S Pahl, R Duarte-Davidson, L Fleming – Environment International
Using data from a nationally representative sample (N = 24,204), and controlling for potential confounders, a structural equation model was used to estimate relationships. We found positive relationships between both recreational nature visits and nature appreciation and pro-environmental behaviour across both the whole sample and key socio-demographic groups. The more individuals visited nature for recreation and the more they appreciated the natural world, the more pro-environmental behaviour they reported. Importantly, positive associations between pro-environmental behaviours and high neighbourhood greenspace and coastal proximity were present for both high and low socio-economic status households.