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Browsing by Author "Laakkonen, Hilla"

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  • Laakkonen, Hilla (2022)
    This study was conducted with the participation of HOAS and AYY residents at the two biggest Universities in the Helsinki metropolitan area (HMA), Finland. A total of 187 residents took part in an online survey. The aim of the study is to investigate the association between experiences of nature, environmental identity, and environmental concern. This master’s thesis explores how the experiences of nature (EoN) defined by Clayton and others (2017), as well as the environmental identity, determined by Clayton (2003), were associated with environmental concern. The survey consisted of questions about environmental identity and experiences of nature. The self-estimation about the environmental concern was also taken into consideration. The data were analyzed both via quantitative and qualitative methods, so mixed methods were applied in this study. Factor analysis from multivariate methods was conducted as a part of the quantitative analysis. Content analysis with topic modeling was performed as part of the qualitative analysis. Survey results from the quantitative analysis showed that the residents of HOAS and AYY experience nature mostly as integrated into their daily lives and routines. Yet, the qualitative analysis revealed that more complex nature connections were experienced during vacation times such as leisure time activities (e.g., boating and trekking). Also, experiences of nature are themed under three themes using the results of the factor analysis. Overall, the survey participants were very concerned about the environmental crisis, and they showed a very strong environmental identity. The correlation between EoN and environmental concern was the weakest, and there were stronger correlations between environmental identity and EoN or environmental concern. The result of this study supports Clayton’s (2003) theoretical model that there is a connection between environmental identity and environmental concern.