We assessed the effects of an outdoor education programme (Tihoi) with no access to electronic media among 14 year-old boys. We compared creative thinking, socio-emotional wellbeing, and materialism with their peers attending regular classes at their normal school. Students at both locations were assessed in the second week of term and after 15 weeks. Boys in the Tihoi programme outperformed those in regular classes on a creative thinking task at both time points. Although the Tihoi group initially had lower scores on some well-being measures, they had small but significant improvements in wellbeing at 15 weeks, which were not observed among those attending normal school. No differences were observed for materialism. A programme of outdoor activity and reduced media exposure may improve creative thinking and wellbeing in adolescents. Encouraging adolescents to replace indoor time with outdoor activities is unlikely to cause persistent psychological harm and may be beneficial.
New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies – Springer Journals
Published: May 28, 2018