Both Direct and Vicarious Experiences of Nature Affect Children’s Willingness to Conserve Biodiversity
AbstractChildren are becoming less likely to have direct contact with nature. This ongoing loss of human interactions with nature, the extinction of experience, is viewed as one of the most fundamental obstacles to addressing global environmental challenges. However, the consequences for biodiversity conservation have been examined very little. Here, we conducted a questionnaire survey of elementary schoolchildren and investigated effects of the frequency of direct (participating in nature-based activities) and vicarious experiences of nature (reading books or watching TV programs about nature and talking about nature with parents or friends) on their affective attitudes (individuals’ emotional feelings) toward and willingness to conserve biodiversity. A total of 397 children participated in the surveys in Tokyo. Children’s affective attitudes and willingness to conserve biodiversity were positively associated with the frequency of both direct and vicarious experiences of nature. Path analysis showed that effects of direct and vicarious experiences on children’s willingness to conserve biodiversity were mediated by their affective attitudes. This study demonstrates that children who frequently experience nature are likely to develop greater emotional affinity to and support for protecting biodiversity. We suggest that children should be encouraged to experience nature and be provided with various types of these experiences. View Full-Text
- Supplementary File 1:
Supplementary (PDF, 571 KB)
Share & Cite This Article
Soga, M.; Gaston, K.J.; Yamaura, Y.; Kurisu, K.; Hanaki, K. Both Direct and Vicarious Experiences of Nature Affect Children’s Willingness to Conserve Biodiversity. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 529.
Soga M, Gaston KJ, Yamaura Y, Kurisu K, Hanaki K. Both Direct and Vicarious Experiences of Nature Affect Children’s Willingness to Conserve Biodiversity. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2016; 13(6):529.Chicago/Turabian Style
Soga, Masashi; Gaston, Kevin J.; Yamaura, Yuichi; Kurisu, Kiyo; Hanaki, Keisuke. 2016. "Both Direct and Vicarious Experiences of Nature Affect Children’s Willingness to Conserve Biodiversity." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 13, no. 6: 529.
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.