The affective and conversational benefits of a walk in nature among mother–daughter dyads
Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
The emotional benefits of nature among children and adults are well documented. However, little is known regarding how nature exposure influences a parent and child walking together (Journal of Planning Literature, 2015, 30, 433). We examine how both environmental setting and social context influence affect and conversational content among mother–daughter dyads. Twenty-eight mother–daughter (aged 10–12) dyads participated in a within-subjects experimental design that included two counterbalanced conditions—a 20 minute walk outdoors and a 20 minute walk indoors. Self-reported positive affect and negative affect were collected before and after each condition, and audio-recorded observations were utilized to code expressed positivity, negativity, and conversational content during each condition. Results showed that 1) daughters self-reported positive affect increased after the outdoor walk and mothers and daughters reported decreased negative affect after both conditions, 2) mothers and daughters expressed less negativity during the nature walk and were more likely to influence each other's negative affect indoors, and 3) mothers and daughters talked more about the surrounding environment during the indoor walk and engaged in more neutral conversations during the outdoor walk. Findings from the study demonstrate the benefits of mother–daughter dyads walking together outdoors and highlight the importance of spending time outside as a way to promote positive family interactions.
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
affect, emotional well-being, family interactions, family-based nature activities, natural environment
Child and Adolescent Development
Dina Izenstark, Niyantri Ravindran, Sarah Rodriguez, and Natalee Devine. "The affective and conversational benefits of a walk in nature among mother–daughter dyads" Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being (2021): 299-316. https://doi.org/10.1111/aphw.12250