Journal Watch – 3 March 2016

Title: Urban youth’s experiences of nature: Implications for outdoor adventure recreation

AuthorKristi S. Lekies,  Greg Yost  and John Rode.

Journal:  Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism 9 (2015) pgs 1–10


This study examined ways in which urban youth participating in a long-term outdoor adventure recreation program (N¼36) perceived and experienced nature. Participants were ages 14–19 and had attended monthly group outings for 3–7 years (median¼5.3).

Small group and individual interviews were used to obtain data related to their involvement in the program. On the negative side, urban youth associated nature with fear and danger; dirt, disgust and discomfort; and physical endurance and challenge.

On the positive side, they associated nature with fun and enjoyment, a contrast with everyday living, and a place that deserves respect. Form experience in the program helped shape positive views, a realistic understanding of risks, and a greater appreciation of nature. Findings support previous work in this area and call for additional research to understand human–nature interactions and beliefs in the early part of the lifespan, particularly for youth with limited experience in outdoor settings

Key words:

Inductive reasoning, nature experiences, perceptions of nature, outdoor adventure recreation, recreation planning, youth and nature, urban youth.

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