Research We Rely On
From its founding in 2008, WAEI was dedicated to following the research, creating a program with true, measureable impact, complimenting existing conservation education programs, recruitment and retention efforts, and being an asset to its partners. Staff spent two years pouring through research on youth, their disconnect from the outdoor world, the ramifications to societal health, economy, and conservation traditions, what is working and what is not working in the quest to change the tide.
WAEI found several key studies that guided the development of their college course.
- Youth today spend an average of 53 hours in front of electronic media.1
- The greatest impact in youth continuing their participation in the outdoor world as an adult involves a connection developed through outdoor recreational experiences shared with a parent or close adult.2
- Traditional programs targeting youth devoid of parental participation or that of a care giver have a 0.3% – 12% impact on the youth’s continued participation in the outdoor world. Youth participation in the outdoors dropped by 12.7 million in 1 year time span from 2006 to 2007 and continues to decline in activities from hiking to fishing to hunting.3
1 – Rideout, Vicky; Gentile, Douglas, A., Ph.D.; and Manganello, Jennifer, Ph.D., M.P.H. Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds, Kaiser Family Foundation, completed with the Program for the Study of Media and Health, Kaiser Family Foundation, Media Research Lab, Iowa State University, Ames, and the Department of Health Policy, Management, and Behavior, School of Public Health, State University of New York at Albany, Rensselaer, New York. January 20, 2010.
2 – Chawla, Louise and Myriam Escalante. “Student Gains from Place-Based Education.” University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center. 2007.
3 – Outdoor Recreation Participation Report. Outdoor Foundation. 2008.
Download PDF for Full List of Research that Guides WAEI’s Programming
2012 Top Stats_Health_ Participation_Youth and the Outdoors