Attitude toward Nature in School and University Students from Megalopolis



The problem of attitude to nature and especially to plants, despite a large number of works, remains still actual. This paper describes the study of gender and age aspects of the attitude towards nature among modern teenagers and youth living in a megapolis. An assumption was made that college students as compared with schoolchildren, as well as girls compared with boys, may have a more positive attitude to nature, and their connection with nature is stronger. The study used «Naturaphil» (S.D. Deryabo, V.A. Yаsvin) method and the questionnaire «People and plants» (S.K. Nartova-Bochaver, E.A. Mukhortova). 144 respondents were surveyed, 102 females and 42 males, including 72 collegestudents (Mage=20.56) and 72 eighth grade school students (Mage=14.0). The age- and gender-related characteristics are described of the attitude to nature, the structure of the attitude to nature and plants in teenagers and students is presented. The leading component in the structure of relations to nature in the entire sample is the perceptual-affective component; the less in intensity were the scales actional, practical, and cognitive. The results obtained indicate that in youth, the strength of connection with nature may appear higher than in adolescence. Certain gender differences were also established: the indicators of the questionnaire «People and plants» are significantly higher in the female group. Girls were characterized by a more positive attitude to the plant world: they obtained a higher overall score, as well as on the scales of Aesthetics, Connection with nature and Ecology.

General Information

Keywords: nature, connection with nature, plants, ecological education, teenagers, youth

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Funding. This research was supported by the Russian Foundation for basic research (RFBR) (project 19-013-00216).

For citation: Mukhortova E.A. Attitude toward Nature in School and University Students from Megalopolis [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psychological-Educational Studies, 2021. Vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 83–97. DOI: 10.17759/psyedu.2021130306. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Vagner I.V. Gumanitarnaya strategiya razvitiya ekologicheskogo obrazovaniya v gryadushchee desyatiletie detstva razvitiya [Elektronnyi resurs] [The humanitarian strategy for the development of environmental education in the coming decade of childhood development]. In Mdivani M.O. (eds.). God ekologii v Rossii: pedagogika i psihologiya v interesah ustojchivogo razvitiya: sbornik statei nauchno-prakticheskoi konferentsii (4–5 dekabrya 2017, Moskva) [The Year of Ecology in Russia: Pedagogy and Psychology for Sustainable Development: a collection of articles of a scientific and practical conference]. Moscow: «Pero» Publ., 2017, pp. 110–113. URL: (Accessed 05.06.2021).
  2. Gagarin A.V. Prirodo-orientirovannaya deyatel'nost' uchashchikhsya kak vedushchee uslovie formirovaniya ekologicheskogo soznaniya: monografiya [Environmental activity of pupils as a as a leading condition for the formation of ecological consciousness: a monograph]. Moscow: RUDN Publ., 2005. 196 p.
  3. Deryabo S.D., Yаsvin V.A. Ekologicheskaya pedagogika i psikhologiya [Environmental pedagogy and psychology]. Rostov-on-Don: Feniks Publ., 1996. 480 p.
  4. Zakhlebny A.N., Dzyatkovskaya E.N., Ermakov D.S. Istoriya i perspektivy razvitiya sistemy nepreryvnogo ekologicheskogo obrazovaniya (k 50-letiyu nauchnogo soveta po ekologicheskomu obrazovaniyu Rossiiskoi akademii obrazovaniya) [Elektronnyi resurs] [History and perspectives of development of the system of lifelong environmental education (for the 50-th anniversary of the Scientific Council for environmental education of the Russian Academy of Education)]. Nepreryvnoe obrazovanie: XXI vek = Lifelong education: the XXI century, 2020. Vol. 4(32). URL: DOI:10.15393/ (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.).
  5. Kochetkov N.V. Izuchenie spetsifiki otnosheniya razlichnykh kategorii uchashcheisya molodezhi k ekologicheskim problemam: aprobirovannaya programma uchebnoi distsipliny dlya bakalavriata, spetsialiteta i magistratury [Exploring the specifics of attitudes towards ecological issues in various categories of young people: an approved academic subject for bachelor's, master's and specialist degrees]. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2014. Vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 114–129. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.).
  6. Nartova-Bochaver S.K., Mukhortova E.A., Irkhin B.D. Vzaimodeistvie s mirom rastenii kak istochnik pozitivnogo funktsionirovaniya cheloveka [Interaction with the plant world as a source of positive human functioning]. Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2020. Vol. 28, no. 2. pp. 151–169. DOI:10.17759/ cpp.2020280209
  7. Nartova-Bochaver S.K., Mukhortova E.A. Oprosnik «Lyudi i Rasteniya»: izuchenie otnosheniya cheloveka k miru rastenii [Questionnaire «People and Plants»: study of human attitude to the world of plants]. Psikhologicheskii zhurnal = Psychological journal, 2020. Vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 86–96. DOI:10.31857/S020595920007984-8
  8. Panov V.I. Psikhologicheskii vzglyad na obrazovanie v interesakh ustoichivogo razvitiya. Ot ekologicheskogo obrazovaniya k ekologii budushchego [Psychological view on education in the interests of sustainable development, From environmental education to the ecology of the future]. Sbornik materialov i dokladov shestoi Vserossiiskoi nauchno-prakticheskoi konferentsii po ekologicheskomu obrazovaniyu (Moskva, 30 oktyabrya-1 noyabrya 2019 g.) [Collection of materials and reports of the VI All-Russian Scientific and Practical Conference on Environmental Education]. In Grachev V.A. (ed.). Moscow: Publ. V.I. Vernadsky Foundation, 2020, pp. 1088–1103.
  9. Sizykh S.V. et al. Sadovaya terapiya: ispol'zovanie resursov botanicheskogo sada dlya sotsial'noi adaptacii i reabilitacii [Garden therapy: using the resources of the botanical garden for social adaptation and rehabilitation]. Spravochno-metodicheskoe posobie [Reference manual]. Irkutsk: Publ. Irk. gos.-unta, 2006. 48 p.
  10. Sorokoumova Е.А., Cherdymovа Е.I. Razvitie strukturnykh komponentov ekologicheskogo soznaniya dlya formirovaniya grazhdanskoi identichnosti lichnosti [Development of structural components of ecological consciousness for the formation of civil identity of the individual]. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological science and Education, 2021. Vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 102–112. DOI:10.17759/pse.2021260107
  11. Federal'nyi gosudarstvennyi obrazovatel'nyi standart osnovnogo obshchego obrazovaniya [Elektronnyi resurs] [Federal state educational standard of basic General education]. URL: (Accessed 05.06.2021).
  12. Chuikova L.Yu. Ekologicheskoe myshlenie i ekologicheskoe mirovozzrenie, kak produkt ekologicheskogo obrazovaniya v shkole: analiz nauchnyh kontseptsii i traktovok [Ecological thinking and ecological worldview, as a product of environmental education in schools: analysis of scientific concepts and interpretations]. Astrahanskii vestnik ekologicheskogo obrazovaniya = Astrakhan Herald of ecological education, 2012, no. 1, pp. 46–68.
  13. Sheinis G.V. Dukhovno-nravstvennoe vospitanie shkol'nikov prirodoi [Spiritual and moral education of schoolchildren by nature]. Vestnik prakticheskoi psikhologii obrazovaniya = Bulletin of practical psychology of education, 2011, no. 2, pp. 77–80.
  14. Yаsvin V.A. Psihologiya otnosheniya k prirode [Psychology relation to the nature]. Moscow: Smysl Publ., 2000. 456 p.
  15. Clayton S., Irkhin B.D., Nartova-Bochaver S.K. Environmental Identity in Russia: Validation and Relationship to the Concern for People and Plants. Psychology. Journal of HSE, 2019. Vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 85–107. DOI:10.17323/1813-8918-2019-1-85-107
  16. Di Fabio A., Rosen M.A. Accounting for individual differences in connectedness to nature: Personality and gender differences [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sustainability, 2019. Vol. 11, no. 6, p. 1693. URL: (Accessed 1.06.2021). DOI:10.3390/su11061693
  17. Goldsmith R.E., Feygina I., Jost J.T. The gender gap in environmental attitudes: a system justification perspective. Research, action and policy: Addressing the gendered impacts of climate change. Springer, Dordrecht, 2013, pp. 159–171. DOI:10.1007/978-94-007-5518-5-12
  18. Hughes J. et al. Age and connection to nature: when is engagement critical? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2019. Vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 265–269. DOI:10.1002/fee.2035
  19. Lewis C.A. Green nature. Human nature: The meaning of plants in our lives. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1996. 176 p.
  20. Nartova-Bochaver S., Mukhortova E. If people are attached to plants, do they love other people? Case of the Russian youth [Elektronnyi resurs]. Behavioral Sciences, 2020. Vol. 10, no. 2. URL: (Accessed 01.06.2021). DOI:10.3390/bs10020040
  21. Richardson M. et al. A measure of nature connectedness for children and adults: Validation, performance, and insights [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sustainability, 2019. Vol. 11, no. 12, p. 3250. URL: (Accessed 1.06.2021). DOI:10.3390/su11123250
  22. Smolova L. Types of Thinking and Their Value for Ecological Education. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, 2019. Vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 50–66. DOI:10.17323/1813-8918-2019-1-50–66
  23. Wandersee J.H., Schussler E.E. Toward a theory of plant blindness. Plant Science Bulletin, 2001. Vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 2–9.

Information About the Authors

Elena A. Mukhortova, Senior Lecturer, Department of Pedagogical Psychology n.a. Professor V.A. Guruzhapov, Faculty of Psychology of Education, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



Total: 684
Previous month: 13
Current month: 8


Total: 274
Previous month: 7
Current month: 3