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Children and Nature/Nature Deficit Disorder - Facatoids

  • The World Future Society ranks nature deficit disorder as #5 in a list of the 10 most important trends that will influence the world. 1

  • “Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation.” 2

  • "Play in nature, particularly during the critical period of middle childhood, appears to be an especially important time for developing the capacities for creativity, problem-solving, and emotional and intellectual development." 3

  • “Nature-smart kids get better test scores.” 4

  • Per capita visits to U.S. national parks have been declining since 1987, after having risen for the previous 50 years. Video games, home movie rentals, Internet use, and rising fuel prices explained almost 98 percent of the decline in people visiting national parks. 5

  • The number of US hunters and anglers is continuing to decrease (from 37.8M in 2001 to 33.9M in 2006. Better news is that there has been an 8% increase in the number of wildlife watchers since 2001. 6


    1. “Outlook 2008 Report”, World Future Society, November-December 2007 issue of The Futurist
    2. Clements, Rhonda. “An Investigation of the Status of Outdoor Play”. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, Volume 5, Number 1, 2004
    3. Kellert, Stephen R. “Nature and Childhood Development” in Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection. Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2005
    4. “Effects of Outdoor Education Programs for Children in California”. American Institutes for Research: Palo Alto, CA: 2005
    5. Pergams, Oliver. “Nature vs. Nintendo: Video Games or National Parks”. Science Daily, 2006
    6. “2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation”, U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish & Wildlife Service and U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, FHW/06-NAT.
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