Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Childhood Nature Play and the Adult Ecopsychological­ Self: A Mixed Methods Study
by McGlinn, Maureen T., Psy.D., Michigan School of Professional Psychology, 2019, 317; 13902425
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation extends previous empirical investigation on the ecopsychological self (St. John & MacDonald, 2007). A convergent, parallel, mixed methods design was employed to investigate the human/nature relationship from a life course perspective. An online survey was completed by 386 participants, recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk. Variables included in development of the model of the adult ecopsychological self included: recollected childhood participation in nature-related activities, Perceptions of Nature Semantic Differential Scale, anthropomorphism, nature inclusive self-concept, nature stewardship, transpersonal relationship with nature, relatedness to nature, biospheric values orientation, and ecological moral reasoning. The model of the adult ecopsychological self that was identified through higher-order factor analysis consisted of the following primary factors: Anthropomorphism of Animal Stimuli, Nature Approachableness, Recollected Wild Nature Play in Childhood, Nature Stewardship, and Eco-Morality. There were unexpected results. Correlational analyses revealed that associations between Domesticated Nature Play and the other nature-related constructs incorporated into the study were consistently comparable to the associations between Wild Nature Play and the same variables. Qualitative data, collected concurrently with quantitative data, comprised of responses to one open-ended question inquiring about significant nature experiences during childhood, was thematically analyzed. An interrater reliability statistic was found to be acceptable. The following eight themes were identified: Nature engages; Natural places and natural materials; Nature fosters interaction; Nature is about seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, and touching; Nature as healing balm and antidote to stress; Time in nature is loose and unstructured; Juxtapositions around nature experiences; and Full-circle.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Keenan, Kevin
Commitee: King, Betz, Duvall, Jason
School: Michigan School of Professional Psychology
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- Michigan
Source: DAI-B 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Behavioral psychology
Keywords: Adult ecopsychological self, Childhood nature play, Human/nature relationship
Publication Number: 13902425
ISBN: 9781085632829
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