Most research about the promotion of pro-environmental behaviours has focused on actions conducted at home (e.g. energy saving). While acknowledging their relevance, the effect of such behaviours on the mitigation of two of the most relevant global environmental problems (climate change and biodiversity loss) is relatively small. We present a literature review with two main objectives. First is to introduce the concept of active pro-environmental behaviours. These are a combination of outdoor physical activities and pro-environmental behaviours. The latter involve behaviours that have a minimum impact on the environment, or even have positive consequences for the environment. Active commuting and tree planting are examples of active pro-environmental behaviours. The second objective is to discuss the relevance of active pro-environmental behaviours for people’s health and sustainability and, thereby, to encourage more research and efforts towards the promotion of these behaviours. We conclude by suggesting how stakeholders can promote active pro-environmental behaviours.
This article offers an overview of what has been done until now on restorative research with children and opens up new inquires for future research. Most of the work has studied children’s exposure to nature and the restorative benefits this contact provides, focusing on the renewal of children’s psychological resources. The paper begins with an introduction to children’s current tendency toward an alienation from the natural world and sets out the objectives of the article. It is followed by four main sections. The first two sections report on what we already know in this research area, distinguishing between children with normal mental capabilities and those suffering from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The findings gathered in these sections suggest that children’s contact with nature improves their mood and their cognitive functioning, increases their social interactions and reduces ADHD symptoms. The next section describes five suggestions for future research: 1) the need for considering the relational dynamics between the child and the environment in restoration research, and the concept of constrained restoration; 2) the possibility of restorative needs arising from understimulation; 3) the importance of considering children’s social context for restoration; 4) the relationship between restoration and pro-social and pro-environmental behaviors and 5) children’s restorative environments other than nature. We close by making some final remarks about the importance of restoring daily depleted resources for children’s healthy functioning.
Until recently, the study of environmental beliefs and attitudes has been focused on adults. However, a better understanding of children’s environmental awareness is needed, since this will make it easier for future generations to assume the demands of pro-environmentalism. This paper highlights the importance of environmental experiences during childhood for the development of pro-environmental attitudes. We discuss different data about Spanish children’s ecological awareness, measured with the New Environmental Paradigm (NEP) scale and the Children’s Environmental Perception Scale (CEPS). According to our findings, Spanish children show a medium-high level of ecological awareness. In addition, we propose a model describing four ecological profiles: eco-oriented, lounge ecologists, utilitarians, and techno-oriented. We conclude by highlighting the value of experiences of contact with nature for children’s pro-environmentalism.
There is empirical evidence suggesting a positive link between direct experiences in nature and people’s environmental attitudes (EA) and behaviors (EB). This has led researchers to encourage more frequent contact with nature, especially during childhood, as a way of increasing pro-environmentalism (i.e., pro-EA and pro-EB). However, the association between experiences in nature and EA/EB is complex, and specific guidelines for people’s everyday contact with nature cannot be provided. This article offers an overview of the research conducted until know about the relation between experiences in nature and pro-environmentalism, and opens up new inquiries for future research. We begin with an introduction to people’s current tendency toward an alienation from the natural world and set out the objectives of the article. It is followed by three main sections. The first one reports on what experiences in nature refer to, how and where they occur. The second section describes the different approaches used to investigate and interpret the experiences in nature-EA and EB relation. The last section provides suggestions for future research. We close by making some final remarks about the importance of (re)stablishing a greater interaction with nature for people’s pro-EA and EB.
DOI : 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00763 Anahtar Kelimeler :
biophilia, connection to nature, ecological behavior, environmental identity, experiences of nature, nature-based recreation
ISSN: 1664-1078 Cilt: 10
This cross-sectional study aims to improve our understanding of the psychological pathways behind the commonly reported link between experiences in nature and pro-environmentalism. Particularly, we explore whether nature experiences lead to self-reported pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs) and whether this relation is mediated by connectedness to nature. Additionally, we examine the possible lasting effect of childhood experiences with nature on adults' PEB. Most studies reporting on the link between contact with nature and pro-environmentalism have been conducted in developed countries, limiting the generalization of the results. To address this gap in the literature, the current study was conducted in a developing country (Brazil) with a sample of 224 young adults. According to our findings, greater contact with nature during childhood is associated with greater contact with nature as an adult, which, in turn, is positively associated with connectedness to nature and PEB. The stimulation of pleasant experiences while in direct contact with nature during childhood seems to trigger interactions with nature in adulthood and consequently, adults embrace pro-environmental actions.
The outbreak of COVID-19 in Spain started at the end of February. By 9th April 2020 Spain was the second country in confirmed cases and in deaths. On March 14, 2020, the Spanish Government declared the state of alarm to limit viral transmission. During such state, citizens must stay confined at home with few justified exceptions. This whole situation drastically changed the life of the population, which can cause a wide range of psychosocial impacts. This study explored the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the general adult population (N = 3055) during the first stages of the outbreak in Spain, as well as their anxiety, stress and depression levels. We also examined the extent to which the following variables were associated to participants’ mental health: (1) demographics; (2) degree of concern about the pandemic; (3) environmental conditions during the home confinement, (4) changes in daily life as a consequence of the pandemic; (5) contact with the COVID-19 disease; (6) actual and perceived severity of the crisis; (7) information about the COVID-19, (8) perceived health status and (9) leisure activities conducted within the last 24 h. Our results show that Spanish consider the current COVID-19 health crisis as fairly severe, and the majority felt that the COVID-19 crisis had greatly impacted on their daily life, including changes in their daily routines and cancelation of important activities. About 36% of the participants reported moderate to severe psychological impact, 25% showed mild to severe levels of anxiety, 41% reported depressive symptoms, and 41% felt stressed. Women, young, and those who that lost their job during the health crisis showed the strongest negative psychological symptoms. What worried Spaniards the most was the likelihood of suffering an economic crisis derived from the pandemic. We found factors associated with better mental health, such as being satisfied with the information received about the health crisis, conducting leisure activities, and the perception of being in good health. These findings can be used to design psychological interventions to help coping with COVID-19 pandemic, both in Spain and other countries.
The evidence about the effects of nature-based instruction on pro-environmentalism is uncompelling, mainly due to a lack of controlled experiments. This hinders causal claims and the provision of intervention guidelines. We present an experiment examining the impact of a nature-based environmental education (NBEE) program included in the school curriculum on children’s environmental attitudes (EA) and behaviors (EB). Children who followed the program through traditional instruction were used as a control group. Seven Spanish primary schools participated in the program and school classes were randomly assigned to the NBEE program (experimental group, N = 516) or the environmental education (EE) through traditional instruction (control group, N = 218). Our results indicate that children’s EA increased more in the NBEE group than in the control group. On average, EB remained virtually the same in both groups of children across time. In light of our findings, we encourage the promotion of a nature-based pedagogy in formal education to enhance children’s environmental attitudes.
The vast majority of people live in urbanized areas. These offer numerous advantages, such as access to a great variety of entertainment and cultural events, services such as educational and medical centers, and opportunities for mixing with different kinds of people in lively public places. Urbanized areas also challenge residents, however, with pollution, crowding and information overload. The effort to deal with the various demands of everyday urban life taxes the physical, psychological and social resources of residents and, over time, this may impair their health. During the past few decades, environmental psychologists have initiated research into the role that the sociophysical environment plays in restoring people’s diminished capabilities. This chapter focuses on restorative environments, which promote people’s health and well-being by supporting their recovery from efforts to meet the demands of everyday life. We first discuss some basic concepts, including health, restoration and the theories that have guided research to date. Then, we move on to describe some key findings in the research area, with particular regard to the restorative potential of different settings in and around cities and their implications for urban residents’ health and well-being. The research evidence concerning environmental supports for restoration is organized into four sections: the residential context, work and school settings, care settings, and other settings. Overall, the results obtained show that restoration is more likely to occur in environments that offer contact with nature, from wilderness to a window view of trees. Most of the empirical studies we review refer to environments with natural elements and features; however, not all restorative environments offer contact with nature, and we also discuss the restorative qualities found in other settings, such as monasteries, museums and urban plazas. In covering the research on these different environments, we consider a variety of short-term psychological benefits that reflect restorative processes, such as improvements in emotional states, the ability to concentrate, and the capacity to inhibit impulsive behavior. We also consider how achieving long-term health goals, such as weight control, might be facilitated by repeated restorative experiences. The empirical evidence obtained over the past few decades offers some guidance for environmental design and planning that can boost the restorative quality of residential areas, workplaces, schools, hospitals and other settings of everyday life. We close by discussing these practical implications and by making recommendations for future research.
DOI : 10.1007/978-3-319-31416-7_7 Anahtar Kelimeler :
Adaptive cost, Attention restoration, Experience of nature, Green space, Mental fatigue, Stress recovery, Urban nature
ISBN: 978-3-319-31416-7 Sayfa: 127-148
Living in rural areas has been described a driver for behaving in a pro-environmental way, mainly due to the more frequent contact with nature that people from rural areas have. However, the processes that link living in a rural area and behaving in a more ecological manner have not been systematically studied. Moreover, most studies have focused on adults living in developed countries. Given the importance that the actions conducted by people in developing countries have for the future of the environment, as well as the relevance of children’s pro-environmentalism for nature conservation, we present a brief research report examining the relationship between Mexican children’s place of residence and self-reported pro-environmental behavior (PEB). Participants were 200 children from Mexican rural areas (<1,000 inhabitants) and 200 from a Mexican urban city (>150,000 inhabitants). Children were between 9 and 12 years old. Children’s connection to nature was considered as a mediator in the relationship between children’s place of residence and PEB. Our findings revealed that rural children hold a stronger sense of connection to nature and behave in a more pro-environmental way than urban children. In addition, place of residence was directly and positively linked to their PEBs, and this relationship was mediated by children’s connection to nature. The relationship between connection to nature and PEB was stronger for girls than for boys. The model explained 45% of the variance of children’s self-reported PEBs.