A nature love affair: exploring education as a means to foster connection to nature in college students

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Madison R. Bryan (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
Callie Schultz

Abstract: Connection to nature (CTN) has been linked to improved health and well-being and an increase in an individual's pro-environmental behaviors. CTN is often thought to be developed in one's childhood, but some studies have refuted this claim by studying CTN development in adults. This study used mixed methods to investigate whether Western Carolina University's Parks and Recreation Management course PRM 365: Nature Rx (a liberal studies course) impacted students' CTN. The findings of the study were compared with those of Lankenau (2018), who studied CTN in related college courses, by replicating his quantitative instrument. A MANOVA test produced nonsignificant results, F(3, 28) = 2.09, p = .13, indicating that Nature Rx had no impact on students’ CTN. Qualitative results also showed minimal change pre-to-post semester as answers to prompted journal questions reflected a limited change across time. Both quantitative and qualitative results indicate that a ceiling effect may be a source of explanation for these results. However, more work must be done to decipher what about the course, or the population led to these results.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2023
college, Connection to nature, Higher education, nature, Nature Rx
College students
Education, Higher
Public health
Western Carolina University

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