Nature Deficit Disorder: a study of four-year old’s perception of ‘nature’ and their interactions with it.

Student, A. (2020) Nature Deficit Disorder: a study of four-year old’s perception of ‘nature’ and their interactions with it. Undergraduate theses, University of Chichester.

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This research project investigates Richard Louv’s theory of ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’, a condition he suggests is becoming widespread amongst the children of the world(Louv,2006). Louv infers that the criminalisation of nature combined with risk aversion and obsessive use of technology is dehumanising society, replacing primary experiential learning with bi-sensorial virtual representations of the world. Although an advocate of Louv’s, the researcher is keen to understand a child’s perspectives on their interactions with nature, and subsequently comprehend how they arrive at these perceptions. The mixed methodological ‘Mosaic Approach’ was applied throughout the study enabling the collection of data from children and adults alike, creating an ecological systemic representation of opinion; verbal, written and digital data was collected, thematically analysed and collated.
Most adult participants felt they were deficient in nature immersion, all the children felt they had been prevented from ’playing’ in a multitude of mildly risky situations, because adults ‘said’ it was dangerous. Some children feared playing in the sun because it would burn your skin off, some could name several species of animals in The Galapagos but were unsure if chickens ate eggs!
The benefits of immersion in nature are infinitely evident, through increased fitness, positive mental health benefits and the confidence a child achieves through risky play, but the disorders associated with NDD, such as obesity, depression , attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often present with co-morbidities, making them intricate ’messy dilemmas’ difficult to label ’deficit disorders’.

Publication Type: Theses (Undergraduate)
Additional Information: BA (Hons) Degree in Childhood Studies: Early Years
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Education, Social and Life Sciences > Childhood
Student Research > Undergraduate
Depositing User: Wendy Ellison
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2020 15:26
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2020 09:15

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