Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Education

Abstract

Research to date has mainly focused on the influence of nature relatedness on a person’s subjective well-being (Nisbet, 2011) and as a predictor of happiness (Zelenski & Nisbet, 2014). There are few, if any, studies that look at the influence of nature relatedness on mate selection. The research question is Does nature relatedness influence mate selection in college-educated adults between the ages of 25 and 40? A secondary goal of this study is to begin to describe the role of the natural environment in the lives of college-educated young adults. Through a modified snowball sampling technique using electronic mail and social media, participants (n=266) completed an electronic questionnaire. Participants’ levels of nature relatedness were measured using the Nature Relatedness Scale (NRS; Nisbet, Zelenski, & Murphy, 2009). They filled out researcher-created questions that inquired into the influence of nature relatedness on mate selection, frequency of outdoor activities with a romantic partner, important characteristics and attributes when looking for a mate, and demographic information. Results show nature relatedness is a factor that almost half (49%) of the participants look for in a romantic partner and more than half (63%) value in a romantic partner. More than a quarter (29%) of the participants selected “enjoys spending time outdoors” as one of the top five attributes they look for in a potential mate. The results demonstrate a positive correlation between an individual’s level of nature relatedness, the degree to which nature relatedness plays a role in mate selection, and the frequency of engaging in outdoor activities with a romantic partner. Selected demographic variables such as gender, age group, geographical location, and geographical region show statistically significant differences on some of the NRS subscales. This study is important because it is one of the few, if any, studies examining the influence of nature relatedness on mate selection in college-educated young adults and provides insight into the influence of the natural environment on this demographic group.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Language

English

Number of Pages

112

Share

COinS