Nature deficit disorder
Nature Deficit Disorder, a term coined by Richard Louv in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods, refers to the alleged trend that children are spending less time outdoors, resulting in a wide range of behavioral problems. Louv claims that causes for the phenomenon include parental fears, restricted access to natural areas, and the lure of the screen. Recent research has drawn a further contrast between the declining number of National Park visits in the United States and increasing consumption of electronic media by children.
Louv spent 10 years traveling around the USA reporting and speaking to parents and children, in both rural and urban areas, about their experiences in nature. He argues that sensationalist media coverage and paranoid parents have literally "scared children straight out of the woods and fields," while promoting a litigious culture of fear that favors "safe" regimented sports over imaginative play.
- Louv, Richard. (2006) Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder (Paperback edition). Algonquin Books. 335pp.
- Louv, Richard, Web of Life: Weaving the Values That Sustain Us.
- For more children, less time for outdoor play: Busy schedules, less open space, more safety fears, and lure of the Web keep kids inside by By Marilyn Gardner, The Christian Science Monitor, June 29, 2006
- U.S. children and teens spend more time on academics by Diane Swanbrow, The University Record Online, The University of Michigan.
- Are your kids really spending enough time outdoors? Getting up close with nature opens a child's eyes to the wonders of the world, with a bounty of health benefits. by Tammie Burak, Canadian Living.
- Stiffler, Lisa (January 6, 2007), "Parents worry about 'nature-deficit disorder' in kids", Seattle Post-Intelligencer
- "Is There Anybody Out There?", Conservation, 8 (2), April–June 2007
- Richard Louv's website
- Children & Nature Network
- An interview with Richard Louv about the need to get kids out into nature, by David Roberts, The Grist: Environmental News and Commentary, 30 Mar 2006.
- Saving kids from nature-deficit disorder - May 25, 2005, NPR