Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Jean S. Coffey

Abstract

Research has shown that time spent in and exposure to natural environments has numerous benefits for children, both physical and mental. At the same time, children face many barriers to obtaining time in the outdoors and today's youth spend less time outside than previous generations. Initiatives such as health care provider prescriptions for outdoor activity aim to encourage exposure to nature as a health intervention for children. In order to enhance the potential for success of programs such as these, factors influencing their implementation need to be assessed. This study aims to explore the impact that provider connectedness to nature, as measured by a validated connectedness to nature scale, has on the likelihood of utilizing a nature prescription program. This study is of descriptive correlational design utilizing a convenience sample of providers who participated in a park prescription program in the state of Vermont. Participants completed a survey that included a Nature Relatedness (NR) scale. These scores and responses were then analyzed in relationship to the number of nature prescriptions written during the program. Data analysis includes descriptive statistics, Pearson's r and Spearman's r and Multivariate MANOVA. Results from this study do not indicate a relationship between provider NR and utilization of a nature prescription program. Data from this study indicates that programs utilized by providers to promote time in nature, such as the park prescription program, may enhance provider awareness of the issue and likelihood to address the issue with their patients. This is an important finding for further initiatives aimed at increasing children's time in nature through their primary care providers.

Language

en

Number of Pages

32 p.