Study links children's spirituality and the outdoors

May 15, 2014

Dr. Gretel Van Wiren

With more daylight and the end of school, lots of kids will have the opportunity to play outdoors more in the coming weeks and months if they choose to. Outdoors time has decreased drastically for children. A new MSU study indicates that there are benefits to outdoor free play besides the physical exercise.

The study indicates that more outdoors time could mean a better spiritual life and stronger self-fulfillment for young people. Current State’s Melissa Benmark spoke with the author of the study, Dr. Gretel Van Wiren, assistant professor of religious studies at MSU.

Van Wiren says her specialization is religion and nature, and she has wondered if environmental values develop during childhood.