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  • Author or Editor: Danielle E. Hammond x
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The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between parental attitudes toward nature and their child's outdoor recreation and how these attitudes related to their reports of their child's health problems. The sample for this study consisted of parents of 6- to 13-year-old children from the United States, who accessed the survey from an informational website for gardeners between Mar. and Aug. 2009. Surveys were collected until 142 completed questionnaires were received. The online survey included questions about parents' attitude toward nature, parents' attitudes toward their child's outdoor recreation, an inventory of potential children's health problems, the time children spent in various indoor and outdoor activities, and demographic questions. Descriptive statistics were used to tabulate mean scores on the parental attitude toward nature (PAN) scale and parental attitude toward their child's outdoor recreation (PACOR) scale, both of which indicated overall positive views. Pearson's product–moment correlations indicated statistically significant relationships between the PAN scale, the PACOR scale, and time children spent outdoors. Relationships between time spent indoors on video games or watching television and health problems in children were identified. Time spent outdoors in free play was inversely related to reports of health problems in children.

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The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument to measure parental attitude toward nature (PAN) and parental attitude toward their child's outdoor recreation (PACOR) to allow researchers to better understand the factors influencing children's outdoor recreation and suggest programs for changing the recent decline in outdoor activity in children. The construction of this instrument followed the Dillman method of constructing survey instruments to improve response rates and to ensure higher quality results. Two scales were developed in three phases. In the first phase, an initial set of instrument questions were developed by adapting questions from previous research. The accumulated questions were then pilot tested and revised based on feedback and reliability. Each inventory was then tested following Dillman's four stages of survey pretest procedures: stage 1—review by knowledgeable colleagues and analysts, stage 2—interviews to evaluate understanding of instructions and questions, stage 3—pilot testing, and stage 4—a final check. The final Cronbach's alpha reliability analyses of the PAN scale and the PACOR scale indicated high levels of internal consistency. The number of questions was reduced following the results of an “alpha if item deleted” tool within SPSS statistical analysis software to improve internal consistency and to reduce load on participants.

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