Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Cornell study links nature play, respect for environment

I guess this isn't too surprising, but it's a good reminder for parents. Here's the release:

Cornell Study Finds Camping, Hiking and Fishing as a Child Breeds Respect for Environment in Adults

If you want your children to grow up to actively care about the environment, give them plenty of time to play in the "wild" before they're 11 years old, suggests a new Cornell University study.

"Although domesticated nature activities -- caring for plants and gardens -- also have a positive relationship to adult environment attitudes, their effects aren't as strong as participating in such wild nature activities as camping, playing in the woods, hiking, walking, fishing and hunting," said environmental psychologist Nancy Wells, assistant professor of design and environmental analysis in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell.

Wells and Kristi Lekies, a research associate in human development at Cornell, analyzed data from a U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service survey conducted in 1998 that explored childhood nature experiences and adult environmentalism. The findings will be published in the next issue of Children, Youth and Environment (Vol. 16:1).

The complete Cornell news release is available online here.

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