[Fcs-faculty] Stephanie Lietzke’s thesis defense

jessie x. fan fan at fcs.utah.edu
Tue Nov 28 13:40:33 MST 2017

Military families face unique stressors, such as deployment, PTSD, and reintegration into civilian life. Because of this, activities that reduce stress and provide restoration are important to overall health. Various types of outdoor recreation have been shown to provide these benefits for individual members of the military. However, there is a lack of research on the benefits of less structured nature activities, such as walks in nature, that involve entire families. Therefore, this study aims to provide a preliminary exploration of the benefits of a walk in nature as part of a half-day nature outing involving parents and their children. Military families from the Mountain West participated in a morning nature outing to a local nature center after attending a one-hour arts-informed presentation on the benefits of play in nature. While they walked through the nature center, families were asked to pay attention to things that caught their attention and to take photos to later share with researchers. After the walk, parents filled out a questionnaire asking about their experiences of restoration, flow, and awe. They were then interviewed about their experiences on the nature walk and the photos that they took. Parents later emailed the photos to the researchers. Interviews were transcribed and content analysis was performed, and descriptive statistics were used to explore the questionnaires.
Committee members: Dr. Kevin Rathunde (chair), Dr. Russ Isabella, Dr. Jim Sibthorp

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