A research article written by Outi Rantala and Riikka Puhakka has been published online in Children’s Geographies. The article is based on the fact that contact with nature is increasingly being recognized as contributing to humans’ mental and physical health. The study explores how Finnish children, young people and families engage with nature during outdoor recreation, and how it affects their well-being. The study is based on thematic writings of 15- to 21-year-olds and on an ethnographic study of camping.
Findings indicate that engagement with nature enables young people to calm down and to get away from the pressures of everyday life and affords close interaction for families. The more young people and families spend time in nature, the more they are able to perceive affordances that enhance their well-being. Families’ engagement with nature should be supported by securing time and places for encountering nature.
Children’s Geographies: Engaging with nature: nature affords well-being for families and young people in Finland