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Ecological perspectives and wellness

Byrmer, Eric & Cuddihy, Thomas F. (2009) Ecological perspectives and wellness. In Cuddihy, Thomas F. & Brymer, Eric G. (Eds.) Edited Proceedings of the 26th ACHPER International Conference: Creating Active Futures, School of Human Movement Studies, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4059, Australia., Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, pp. 301-309.

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Abstract

Since the industrial revolution, the development of a lifestyle lived predominantly indoors has resulted in less contact with nature. Research over the last twenty years has gradually been identifying the human health benefits attributed to re-connecting with the natural environment. The significance of feeling connected to natural environments, families and friends are described as a foundational requirement for human health and wellbeing (Maller et al., 2008). Also, the early findings of Schultz‟s (2002) work indicated that by feeling connected to the natural world a person is more likely to be committed to positively interact with and protect the natural world. Research on young people has indicated that young people are even more disconnected from the natural world. Leading some writers to call this disconnection a crisis termed “Nature Deficit Disorder.” Participants (n = 131) from 1st year university Physical Education and Human Movement Studies were asked to complete two questionnaires the Connectedness to Nature scale (CNS) (Mayer & Frantz, 2004) and the New Ecological Paradigm Scale (NEP) (Dunlap, Van Liere, Mertig, & Jones, 2000). The NEP and CNS are two scales most commonly used to explore beliefs and feelings of connectedness to the natural world (Schultz, 2002). The NEP was developed over thirty years ago by Dunlap and Van Liere (1978) and originally termed the New Environmental Paradigm. The NEP is now the foremost International tool for measuring beliefs about the natural world (Dunlap, 2008). The CNS measures an individual‟s trait levels of emotional connection to the natural world. It is a relatively new tool for understanding ecological behaviour based on ecopsychology theory and employed to predict behaviour (Mayer and Frantz, 2004). Both questionnaires are based on a 1-5 scale (Strongly disagree to Strongly agree). By combing both scales the researchers aim to develop a snap shot of beliefs and emotional feelings towards the natural world and therefore an idea of intended behaviour. The two questionnaires were combined as one online survey with additional material asking for demographics and self assessments of type of leader included before the surveys. An email inviting outdoor leaders to participate was sent out to networks and interest groups. A basic descriptive statistical analysis was used to interpret data.

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ID Code: 29696
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional Information: Proceedings for the entire conference are freely available via the Official URL.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Nature Deficit Disorder, Natural World, Wellness
ISBN: 9781741072860
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Physical Education and Development Curriculum and Pedagogy (130210)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Psychology not elsewhere classified (170199)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 School of Human Movement Studies, Queensland University of Technology and the authors.
Copyright Statement: Copyright in each of the papers printed herein is retained by the respective authors. This work is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from the copyright holders.
Deposited On: 21 Jan 2010 16:15
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2013 15:49

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