Children’s Changing Experiences with Nature (07-09-20)

Novotny and colleagues probed how children’s experiences of nature are evolving over time.  They “compared the experience with nature of today’s children with data from the beginning of the 20th century to determine whether we can confirm a loss of experience and contribute to the description of changes in children’s relationship with nature. . . . Results from contemporary participants . . . showed no difference in level of experience according to the age of the respondents. Comparing historical data . . . we found a significant increase in contemporary children’s summary experiences. Although children of the 21st century have less experience with traditional extensive farming activities and biotechnologies, they have much more experience with nature, apparently connected with recreational and field-trip activities. We cannot confirm a decrease in experience among generations, on the contrary, we found a summary increase in experience.”

Petr Novotny, Eliska Zimova, Aneta Mazouchova, and Agrej Sorgo.  “Are Children Actually Losing Contact with Nature, Or Is It That Their Experiences Differ from Those of 120 Years Ago?”  Environment and Behavior, in press,