Improving Ecological Behavior in Outdoor Recreation Through Mindfulness Interventions: A Mixed Methods Inquiry


  • S. Anthony Deringer Texas State University
  • Adam W. Hanley University of Utah
  • Jan S. Hodges Texas State University
  • L. Kent Griffin Texas State University



mindfulness, outdoor education, ecological behavior, nature connectedness


Outdoor recreation professionals have long sought to impact environmental behavior of participants. Mindfulness and nature connection have recently been explored as possible constructs to impact environmental behavior. The purpose of this study was to better understand the impact of mindful outdoor recreation trips on college students’ nature connectedness and ecological behavior. We used explanatory mixed methods approach to explore the relationship between mindfulness, nature connection, and ecological behavior. Quantitative findings suggest that being mindfully outdoors has a positive effect on the degree to which nature is included in the sense of self and on ecological behavior. Qualitative findings support the quantitative findings and suggest that students use mindfulness to connect with nature and to care more for the environment. These findings suggest that the use of mindfulness interventions in outdoor education programming may improve nature connection and ecological behavior.Subscribe to JOREL

Author Biographies

S. Anthony Deringer, Texas State University

Health and Human PerformanceAssistant Professor of Recreation Administration

Adam W. Hanley, University of Utah

Research Assistant Professor

Jan S. Hodges, Texas State University

Associate Professor

L. Kent Griffin, Texas State University

Associate Professor


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