Nature deficit disorder: A comparative study of young female's attitudes in the USA and the UK

Pickup, Katy (2014) Nature deficit disorder: A comparative study of young female's attitudes in the USA and the UK. [Dissertation]

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The Nature Deficit Disorder, which describes the human costs of alienation from nature, is a growing concern for today's society and for future generations, especially amongst young children. Advances in technology, a rise in organised sports, strict parenting and fears of the outside world are all reasons why children are being deprived of the natural world, which they are now believed to need as much as adequate sleep. The lack of time children are thought to be spending away from nature is affecting their education and resulting in a growing number of physical and mental health problems amongst children.
This study looks at two groups of young females aged 7-14 in the USA and the UK to see if the Nature Deficit Disorder could be apparent and also, to assess if there are any differences in the attitudes and lifestyles of the young females in the two different areas of the world. A questionnaire was created in order to gain an insight to respondent classification, attitudinal and behavioural data patterns.
Results found that in both countries, the majority of the girls did spend time outside and more importantly enjoyed spending time outside. The majority of the attitudinal and behavioural data responses from the two different study groups were very similar, with differences being; time spent on technology, fast food restaurant visits and the amount of homework they received. Overall, the young females from the UK and the USA, who took part in the study, had similar attitudes and lifestyles. Although the study has shown some signs of the Nature Deficit Disorder being apparent, in general, the majority of the 7-14 year olds involved in this study have not be effected by it.

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