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 University of Hertfordshire


Family Countryside Recreation, Middle Childhood, Affluence, United Kingdom


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 raise important issues that could be valuable for informing policy  and  practice  in  the  field  of  family  countryside  recreation  in  the U.K. Suggestions are made for further study.



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