How ex­pe­ri­en­ces in na­tu­re can streng­then people’s abili­ties to face chal­lenges


Authors: Hildegunn Marie T. Seip & Johana Houskova


This stu­dy ex­plo­res the si­gni­fi­can­ce of ex­pe­ri­en­ces in na­tu­re for people’s abili­ty to cope with chal­lenges. The pur­po­se of the stu­dy is to shed light on how ex­pe­ri­en­ces in na­tu­re (fri­luft­sliv) may bring about long-las­ting im­pact that trans­fer to other con­texts. To ex­plo­re the­se con­nec­tions, a groun­ded theo­ry ap­proach was ap­pli­ed. The data coll­ec­tion con­sis­ted of in-depth in­ter­views with a stra­te­gic sel­ec­tion of par­ti­ci­pan­ts with ex­ten­si­ve out­door ex­pe­ri­ence. The ana­ly­sis de­ve­lo­ps five cen­tral con­cepts: The out­doors, the con­cre­te, ch­an­ge, chal­lenges and re­la­ting. Ex­pe­ri­en­ces in na­tu­re make room for ac­ti­vat­ing a dif­fe­rent mode of pre­sence, whe­re peo­p­le can per­cei­ve rea­li­ty with their sen­ses and re­spond with the body in prac­ti­cal ways. Out­side in na­tu­re, the com­ple­xi­ties of life shift from the co­gni­ti­ve do­main to the phy­si­cal, al­lo­wing an em­bo­di­ed ap­proach. The de­ve­lo­p­men­tal op­por­tu­ni­ties the­r­ein are dis­cus­sed in re­la­ti­on to lear­ning, co­ping and iden­ti­ty, wi­thin an eco­lo­gi­cal ap­proach.

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