Generational Perspectives on the Benefits of Connecting and Listening to Nature
Arts & Letters
M.A. Lifespan & Digital Communication
This paper details a mixed methodology research project concerning the perspectives of emerging adults and older adults on the benefits of connecting and listening to nature. It was hypothesized emerging adults would not find connecting to nature as important as the older adults would and therefore would have a less positive relationship with nature. In this limited study, field experiments were done with a group of four 16-20 years old emerging adults using activities taken from Joseph Cornell’s book Sharing Nature; Nature Awareness Activities for All Ages. These participants as well as two older adults 50-85 years old were interviewed with their answers being compared. Autoethnography was used to reflect on these findings throughout the study. The results found that most of the emerging adults as well as the older adults found nature to be important and recognized they have a relationship with it in some capacity. The emerging adult’s responses compared to those of the older adults were less detailed however, leading me to conclude the richness of the two age group’s relationships with nature differed. However, the results of the study are limited, primarily by sample size of participants. Further research would be beneficial to the topic in order to obtain a larger and more diverse group of participants, in both age demographics. Doing so would also allow for greater quantity and quality of findings that could be analyzed. Implications of future research on the topic could enhance our understanding of how nature effects humans, how that has changed over time and ultimately the implications of this on communication.
O'Neill, Jessica, "Generational Perspectives on the Benefits of Connecting and Listening to Nature" (2019). College of Arts and Letters Posters. 8.