Effect of frequency and mode of contact with nature on children's self-reported ecological behaviors

ABSTRACT

The relationship between spending time in nature and behaving in an ecological manner seems to be contingent on various factors. This cross-sectional study evaluates the association of Frequency of Contact with Nature (FCN) on children's Environmental Attitudes (EA) and self-reported Ecological Behaviors (EB) considering three different types of daily experiences in nature: (1) Work-related and (2) non work-related in rural areas, and (3) non work-related in a city. FCN was expected to be linked to children's EB both directly and indirectly, through EA. A multigroup structural equation model revealed that the relationship between FCN, EA and EB differs among the three groups of children. The strongest association between FCN and EB was found for urban children and the weakest for those in the workrelated rural area. No direct association of FCN and EB was found in the non work-related rural area, and a negative one in the work-related rural area.

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