Nature Connectivity in Young Adults: Relationships Between Well-Being, Technology, and the Natural Environment
Past research has demonstrated that people who engage in more frequent contact with nature report higher levels of well-being. However, apathy towards environmental issues has been detected in national samples of adolescents in research spanning over three decades. Previous studies have provided evidence of the relationship between nature relatedness and well-being , but have not fully explored types of factors which contribute to the enhancement of nature connectivity. This study attempts to examine various dimensions of nature connectivity and well-being. Participants were 846 college students between the ages of 18 and 30.Participants responded to an online survey which analyzed environmental attitudes oriented towards environmental concern, pro-environmental behaviors, knowledge of sustainability, nature relatedness, level of technology use, attitudes towards technology, and well-being. Correlations between these variables were examined to determine if the presence or absence of each factor is related to an individual’s relationship with the natural environment. Results were consistent with past research with correlations between nature relatedness and life satisfaction at .082 and between nature relatedness and hopelessness at -.090. These were significant at the .05 and .01 levels, respectively. Pro-environmental behaviors were negatively correlated with technology use and technology attitudes with technology use at -.125 and technology attitudes at -.131. Both were significant at the .01 level. Nature relatedness was positively correlated with pro-environmental behaviors, sustainability knowledge, and positive environmental attitudes at .526, .311, and .510, respectively. These were significant at the .01 level.
Johnson City, TN
Peavler, Cheyenne; and Polaha, Jodi. 2011. Nature Connectivity in Young Adults: Relationships Between Well-Being, Technology, and the Natural Environment. Poster Presentation. Appalachian Student Reseach Forum, Johnson City, TN.