Kokonaisvaltainen luontokokemus hyvinvoinnin tukena

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles

Abstract

This dissertation focuses on perceived influence and content dimensions of nature among voluntary and supervised nature experiences. We expected to have results based on the restoration theories but also based on the so-called comprehensive views. Furthermore, we expected that there would be some similarities between voluntary and supervised nature experiences, but also there might be some differences between them. This dissertation consists of four original studies. In Study I, I examined perceived influence of nature among voluntary nature experiences. Study II developed a new measure for comprehensive nature experience (CNE). The structure, reliability and structural, criterion, and known group validity of the CNE measure was evaluated. Study III and IV explored perceived influence and content dimensions among Green Care -activities (Study III) and Flow with Nature intervention (Study IV). In the Flow with Nature intervention (the nature intervention groups, independent nature groups) changes in affect during each meeting were compared between the groups. The data used in this dissertation were collected during 2007–2017. The main data in Studies I and II consisted of Finnish adults who visited a health portal (N = 534) and in order to evaluate the validity of the CNE measure, a secondary data were collected among university students (N = 347). Participants in Green Care activities (Study III, N = 54) took part in a nature-based intervention as a part of their rehabilitation, rehabilitative work or education. The Flow with Nature intervention (Study IV, N = 121) consisted of Finnish employees. The majority of the participants were woman (80 %) and they were on average 41 years old. The results among voluntary nature experiences revealed, first, that there were three kinds of perceived effects of nature environment among voluntary nature experiences: restoration (e.g. relaxation), health experiences and ambivalent experiences. In health experiences, the central perception was that nature is able to heal. Ambivalent experiences included both positive and negative emotions. Second, The CNE measure consisted of four content dimensions (connectedness with nature, feelings of impasse, feelings of space, and feelings of being accepted), which mostly showed good reliability (except feelings of space and feelings of impasse). Moreover, structural, criterion, and known group validity turned out to be moderate. There were many similarities between voluntary and supervised nature experiences. First, restorative perceived influence (changes in affect) were found in Flow with Nature intervention: participating in the nature intervention groups (nature & independent) had immediate positive effects on the affect of the participants at each meeting, and the positive effects were larger at several meetings when compared with the control group. Second, the result of the group discussions in Flow with Nature intervention revealed comprehensive nature experiences at the same way as in supervised nature experiences. However, there were also differences between voluntary and supervised nature experiences. First, in Flow with Nature intervention revealed a new content dimension: significance of social experiences. Second, the result showed that in Green Care activities there were four kinds of perceived effects of nature-based interventions: restoration (e.g. relaxation), health experiences (e.g. healing experiences), ambivalent experiences (e.g. sorrow) and occupational interest (e.g. motivation). There were also additional health experiences, which included descriptions of the psychological process. Third, the participants in the nature intervention groups became more aware of the positive effects of nature and disturbing experiences in nature were reduced or resolved during the intervention. There were also differences between Green Care activities (nature-based interventions). The nature-based interventions, which included diverse methods, e.g., the opportunity to experience the living elements of nature outdoors, were connected with healing experiences. However, there was no difference between the changes in affect when comparing participants in the nature intervention groups and participants in the independent nature groups. Overall, the results showed, first, that with the help of supervision, nature experiences are easier to put in to practice in all seasons and second, comprehensiveness, awareness and psychological process will be emphasized (Nature intervention group and Green Care activities). Third, with the help of the nature-based intervention negative experiences will be reduced.
Original languageFinnish
Place of PublicationTampere
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-03-1563-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (articles)

Publication series

NameTampere University Dissertations - Tampereen yliopiston väitöskirjat
Volume253
ISSN (Print)2489-9860
ISSN (Electronic)2490-0028

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