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ERIC Number: ED563596
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 147
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-6105-4
The Potential Impact of Environmental Play and Education on Empathy in Children
Anzek, Kimberly E.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Walden University
Teaching children to be empathetic is important because empathy is linked with positive social behaviors, future academic success, and the development of work-related skills. Children's relationships with nature can help to establish their values and relationships with other people. The purpose of the study, based on empathy theory, was to determine if there is an association between empathy and environmental education and play. This quantitative, quasi-experimental design included 9- to 11-year-old children who attended an environmental play and education camp or a camp that was not environmental in nature. It was hypothesized that data would show a relationship between empathy and environmental knowledge/attitude and attending an environmental camp. Data included children's demographic characteristics, empathy scores from the Feeling and Thinking Scale, and environmental knowledge/attitude scores from The Environment Questionnaire and the Children's Environmental Attitudes and Knowledge Scale, measured before and after camp. Repeated-measures analysis of variance and linear regression were conducted to assess prepost differences in empathy scores. Both total environmental attitude and total environmental knowledge were found to be statistically significant positive predictors of empathy. Father's education and cognitive and affective empathy significantly predicted the type of camp attended. These findings suggest that empathy can predict how people treat nature and other people and can help develop respect for human and nonhuman life. Social change may be impacted in that people may have better relationships with each other and with the environment. Psychologists may benefit from this research as no previous research has been done regarding the relationship between empathy and environmentalism. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A