Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Department

Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Paul Faulstich

Reader 2

Timothy Justus

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Rights Information

© 2014 Anne Elizabeth Bremer

Abstract

Industrialized societies have been characterized by a trend of disconnecting humans from our natural environment, leading to environmental and psychological damage. Therefore, in order to work toward repairing such damage, reconnecting humans and the natural environment is critical. One way of conceptualizing human-nature relationships is through “environmental identity,” a term that describes self-identification as part of a larger ecosystem, aesthetic, spiritual, or recreational enjoyment of nature, environmentally positive behaviors, and a social, political, or moral identification with environmentalists. Despite the literature having emphasized childhood experience in nature as being essential to the development of an environmental identity, parental influence in environmental identity development has been vastly understudied. Drawing on research concerning environmental identity development, parent-child relationships and identity development, and primary analysis of interviews with college students and their parents reveals that parents and other primary caregivers are highly influential in the formation of environmental identities in their children.

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