How Emerging Adults Perceive Elements of Nature as Resources for Wellbeing: A Qualitative Photo-Elicitation Study
Abstract: Research that examines lived experience and how emerging adults seek to create wellbeing in their daily lives through nature is limited. This paper addresses this gap by providing unique insights into how emerging adults perceive and experience nature as a beneficial resource for their wellbeing. Data were collected using photo-elicitation interviews, where 18 emerging adults took photographs that represented their views on and experiences of wellbeing, and during the follow-up interviews discussed the meaning of their photographs. Without a priori mention, 14 participants identified contact with various elements of nature as important resources in supporting their wellbeing. It is the results of these 14 interviews that are discussed in this paper with a focus on (i) the elements of nature which these emerging adults identify as important resources for their wellbeing, (ii) experiences and the perceived pathways between these elements of nature and wellbeing. Thematic analysis revealed four distinct perceived pathways connecting nature to wellbeing, including symbiotic nurturing, building social glue, maintaining a positive outlook, and centreing yourself. Four elements of nature facilitated these pathways: domesticated fauna, domesticated flora, wild fauna and wild surrounding nature. The findings help build understanding of how emerging adults perceive elements of nature as resources for wellbeing and can inform the development of nature-oriented interventions.
Keywords: nature / emerging adults / well-being / photo-elicitation / pathways
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