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

Alexia Barrable (Lead / Corresponding author), David Booth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

There have been calls to reconnect children with nature, both for their own wellbeing, as well as for ecological sustainability. This has driven the growth of outdoor and nature-schools for all ages, but especially in the early childhood education sector. However, to date, there has not been a quantitative study that looks at whether these settings actually promote nature connection. This paper aims to examine the role of nature nurseries in the promotion of connection to nature, when compared to traditional nurseries. Data were collected on the nature connection, using the Connection to Nature Index for Parents of Preschool Children, of 216 children aged 1–8 years, 132 of whom attended nature nurseries while the rest attended traditional nurseries. Duration and frequency of attendance, sex, and parental nature connection were also reported. Statistical 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. Implications for real-life applications are put forward and further research directions are explored.
Original languageEnglish
Article number375
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalSustainability
Volume12
Issue number1
Early online date2 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Fingerprint

cross-sectional study
Sustainable development
Education
childhood
dose-response relationship
sustainability
education
preschool child
parents
promotion

Keywords

  • nature connection
  • early childhood
  • wellbeing
  • forest school
  • nursery

Cite this

@article{ab62f898e48d418cbd09cd988457f2a5,
title = "Nature Connection in Early Childhood: A Quantitative Cross-Sectional Study",
abstract = "There have been calls to reconnect children with nature, both for their own wellbeing, as well as for ecological sustainability. This has driven the growth of outdoor and nature-schools for all ages, but especially in the early childhood education sector. However, to date, there has not been a quantitative study that looks at whether these settings actually promote nature connection. This paper aims to examine the role of nature nurseries in the promotion of connection to nature, when compared to traditional nurseries. Data were collected on the nature connection, using the Connection to Nature Index for Parents of Preschool Children, of 216 children aged 1–8 years, 132 of whom attended nature nurseries while the rest attended traditional nurseries. Duration and frequency of attendance, sex, and parental nature connection were also reported. Statistical 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. Implications for real-life applications are put forward and further research directions are explored.",
keywords = "nature connection, early childhood, wellbeing, forest school, nursery",
author = "Alexia Barrable and David Booth",
year = "2020",
month = "1",
doi = "10.3390/su12010375",
language = "English",
volume = "12",
pages = "1--15",
journal = "Sustainability",
issn = "2071-1050",
publisher = "MDPI",
number = "1",

}

Nature Connection in Early Childhood : A Quantitative Cross-Sectional Study. / Barrable, Alexia (Lead / Corresponding author); Booth, David.

In: Sustainability, Vol. 12, No. 1, 375, 01.2020, p. 1-15.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Nature Connection in Early Childhood

T2 - A Quantitative Cross-Sectional Study

AU - Barrable, Alexia

AU - Booth, David

PY - 2020/1

Y1 - 2020/1

N2 - There have been calls to reconnect children with nature, both for their own wellbeing, as well as for ecological sustainability. This has driven the growth of outdoor and nature-schools for all ages, but especially in the early childhood education sector. However, to date, there has not been a quantitative study that looks at whether these settings actually promote nature connection. This paper aims to examine the role of nature nurseries in the promotion of connection to nature, when compared to traditional nurseries. Data were collected on the nature connection, using the Connection to Nature Index for Parents of Preschool Children, of 216 children aged 1–8 years, 132 of whom attended nature nurseries while the rest attended traditional nurseries. Duration and frequency of attendance, sex, and parental nature connection were also reported. Statistical 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. Implications for real-life applications are put forward and further research directions are explored.

AB - There have been calls to reconnect children with nature, both for their own wellbeing, as well as for ecological sustainability. This has driven the growth of outdoor and nature-schools for all ages, but especially in the early childhood education sector. However, to date, there has not been a quantitative study that looks at whether these settings actually promote nature connection. This paper aims to examine the role of nature nurseries in the promotion of connection to nature, when compared to traditional nurseries. Data were collected on the nature connection, using the Connection to Nature Index for Parents of Preschool Children, of 216 children aged 1–8 years, 132 of whom attended nature nurseries while the rest attended traditional nurseries. Duration and frequency of attendance, sex, and parental nature connection were also reported. Statistical 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. Implications for real-life applications are put forward and further research directions are explored.

KW - nature connection

KW - early childhood

KW - wellbeing

KW - forest school

KW - nursery

U2 - 10.3390/su12010375

DO - 10.3390/su12010375

M3 - Article

VL - 12

SP - 1

EP - 15

JO - Sustainability

JF - Sustainability

SN - 2071-1050

IS - 1

M1 - 375

ER -