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It is a universal understanding that in order for nature to survive, humans must live responsibly. In October 2018 at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s leading scientists issued a twelve year ultimatum to change our environmental habits (National Geographic, 2018). However, the critical issue of climate change has not evoked a correspondingly serious and crucial response among the general public.
Ecological identity, otherwise known as Environmental identity, refers to how one views oneself in relation to the natural world, and a part of how we form our self-concept (Clayton, 2013).
Past research has shown that humans feel a greater responsibility to nature when they are directly exposed to it. For example, Clayton, Luebke, Saunders, Matiasek, & Grajal (2014) found that feeling connected to animals at the zoo or an aquarium was significantly associated with cognitive and emotional responses to climate change.
Other research has proposed that having a strong ecological identity in adulthood may have developed through greater exposure to nature during one’s childhood (Kals, Shumaker, & Montada, 1999).
The purpose of the present study was to more closely examine the relationship between childhood exposure to nature and adulthood ecological identity
Matt Davis, PhD
Scholarly and Creative Works Conference, Dominican University of California
San Rafael, CA
Nature, Environmental Identity, Environment and Sustainability