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Article

Parental Mental Well-Being and Frequency of Adult-Child Nature Visits: The Mediating Roles of Parents’ Perceived Barriers

1
Public Health Research Program, Folkhälsan Research Center, FI-00250 Helsinki, Finland
2
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), FI-00791 Helsinki, Finland
3
Department of Psychology and Logopedics, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
4
Folkhälsans Förbund, FI-65100 Vaasa, Finland
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Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
6
Department of Food Studies, Nutrition and Dietetics, Uppsala University, 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden
7
Department of Food and Nutrition, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6814; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136814
Received: 25 May 2021 / Revised: 21 June 2021 / Accepted: 22 June 2021 / Published: 25 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Physical Activity and Public Health)
Regular access to green space has been shown to provide several health benefits for children. However, children today spend less time outdoors. Thus, it has become important to understand what drives and limits children’s activities in nature. Based on a Finnish online survey of 1463 parents of children aged 2–7 conducted in 2019, the current study examined parents’ perceived barriers to visiting nature with their children. It also examined how parental mental well-being is related to families’ frequency of nature visits, and whether this association is mediated by different categories of parents’ perceived barriers. Eleven out of 12 barriers were largely perceived by parents as reasons that did not prevent them from visiting nature with their children. Next, factor analysis indicated a three-factor solution to the barriers. The results of a multiple mediation analysis showed that better parental mental well-being was associated with more frequent adult-child nature visits, and this relationship was partially mediated by a “lack of competence and logistics” and a “lack of time and interest”, but not by “insecurity and fear”. The results indicated that parents with poor mental well-being were more likely to perceive barriers to visiting nature, which in turn appeared to be related to a higher likelihood of having children who visited nature less frequently. View Full-Text
Keywords: nature visits; parental factors; barriers to visiting nature; early childhood; mediation analysis nature visits; parental factors; barriers to visiting nature; early childhood; mediation analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gustafsson, J.; Ojala, A.; Hiltunen, P.; Engberg, E.; Wiklund-Engblom, A.; Törnwall, N.; Roos, E.; Ray, C. Parental Mental Well-Being and Frequency of Adult-Child Nature Visits: The Mediating Roles of Parents’ Perceived Barriers. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 6814. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136814

AMA Style

Gustafsson J, Ojala A, Hiltunen P, Engberg E, Wiklund-Engblom A, Törnwall N, Roos E, Ray C. Parental Mental Well-Being and Frequency of Adult-Child Nature Visits: The Mediating Roles of Parents’ Perceived Barriers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(13):6814. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136814

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gustafsson, Jasmine, Ann Ojala, Pauliina Hiltunen, Elina Engberg, Annika Wiklund-Engblom, Nea Törnwall, Eva Roos, and Carola Ray. 2021. "Parental Mental Well-Being and Frequency of Adult-Child Nature Visits: The Mediating Roles of Parents’ Perceived Barriers" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 13: 6814. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136814

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