Can Family Outdoor and Countryside Recreation Help Reconnect Children with the Outdoors? : Affluent Middle Childhood Perspectives of Countryside Recreation in the United Kingdom
Pearlman Hougie, Deborah
Extant research shows that despite the benefits of contact with nature, children are increasingly becoming disengaged from the outdoors. This study aimed to examine affluent children’s and mothers’ perspectives of countryside recreation and to explore whether it has a role in reconnecting children with outdoor environments. The research design employed a case study, mixed method framework. Although generalizations could not be extrapolated to the wider population, the study produced insights into how participants experienced countryside recreation; it explored the nature of the phenomenon, not its prevalence. The results demonstrated that affluent children aspired to undertake countryside recreation activities, desiring real adventures, but this was counteracted by their mother’s lack of countryside recreation self-efficacy to negotiate recreational constraints. The results raised important issues that could be valuable for informing policy and practice in the field of family countryside recreation in the UK. Suggestions are made for further study.