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"I'm too old to go outside!" Examining age-related differences in children's environmental orientationsAuthor(s): Lincoln R. Larson; Gary T. Green; Steven B. Castleberry
Source: In: Watts, Clifton E., Jr.; Fisher, Cherie LeBlanc, eds. Proceedings of the 2009 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-66. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 42-46.
Publication Series: General Technical Report - Proceedings
Station: Northern Research Station
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DescriptionStudies of the recent decline in nature-based recreation participation have identified the growing disconnect between children and the natural world as a persistent problem. Limited childhood exposure to nature may influence preferences and propensities to engage in future environmental behavior, but studies have not indicated when and how these effects are manifested during the maturation process. This study addressed these questions with surveys and interviews designed to assess age-related shifts in three important components of children's environmental orientations: eco-affinity, eco-awareness, and environmental knowledge. Data were collected from 407 6- to 13-year-olds across northern Georgia and analyzed using nonparametric procedures. Children of all ages displayed relatively high levels of eco-awareness and environmental knowledge. However, Kruskal-Wallis tests revealed a significant decline in eco-affinity and environmental knowledge scores among children in older age groups. Future environmental education programs may benefit from an increased emphasis on building and maintaining eco-affinity in 10- to 13-year-old children.
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CitationLarson, Lincoln R.; Green, Gary T.; Castleberry, Steven B. 2010. "I’m too old to go outside!" Examining age-related differences in children's environmental orientations. In: Watts, Clifton E., Jr.; Fisher, Cherie LeBlanc, eds. Proceedings of the 2009 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-66. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 42-46.
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