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Development and validation of the attitudes toward outdoor play scales for children

Summary


Scale for measuring children’s attitudes toward outdoor play in nature has positive uses

The major purpose of this study was to develop a reliable and valid quantitative measure of children’s attitudes toward outdoor play in nature. The authors developed Attitudes Toward Outdoor Play (ATOP), with two interrelated and valid scales as outcomes. One scale measures children’s attitudes toward the benefits of outdoor play in nature, the second measures children’s fears. The study found that children tend to have both positive attitudes and some fears, with the greatest reported fear being exposure to adults with drugs.

The authors developed the scale in six steps:  (1) item generation based on a comprehensive literature review and consensus among the project team, (2) interviews with environmental educators, (3) initial pilot testing, (4) scale refinement, (5) administration during 2012 and 2013 to a sample of school children ages 9-13 (n = 362) in Milwaukee, WI, USA, and (6) quantitative psychometric evaluation.  The children were primarily male (51%) and the majority identified as Hispanic or Latino (83%).  The authors did not report further racial breakdown of the sample.

Citation

Beyer, K., Bizub, J., Szabo, A., Heller, B., Kistner, A., Shawgo, E., Zetts, C., (2015). Development and validation of the attitudes toward outdoor play scales for children. Social Science & Medicine, 133, 253-260.

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