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A Qualitative Investigation of the Urban African-American and Latino Adolescent Experience with Wildlife

By Stanley W. van Velsor, Charles H. Nilon

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Few studies have investigated the wildlife-related experience of urban African-American and Latino adolescents. Using a grounded theory research approach, we identified four general conditions (i.e., demographic characteristics, socialization, place of residence, wildlife encounters) that were important in shaping four general processes (i.e., connecting with wildlife, selective engagement with wildlife, tolerating wildlife, wildlife disconnect) that describe the differing wildlife experiences of these adolescents. Our findings suggested that urban African-American and Latino adolescents will demonstrate differing levels of interest and appreciation for wildlife, ranging from active interest and engagement to a complete disinterest in wildlife. To foster an appreciation for wildlife in urban African-American and Latino adolescents, three general conditions should be present: (a) childhood access to wild places, (b) supportive mentoring from adults, and (c) positive encounters with a variety of wildlife species. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

Publication Title Human Dimensions of Wildlife
Volume 11
Issue 5
Pages 359-370
ISBN/ISSN 1087-12091533-158X
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10871200600894944
Author Address van Velsor, Stanley W., Wilderness Society Presidio Building 1016, PO Box 29241, San Francisco, CA, US, 94129,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Adolescents
  2. Africa
  3. Animals
  4. Blacks
  5. Demography
  6. Environment
  7. Experience
  8. Interspecies interactions
  9. Latinos/Latinas
  10. peer-reviewed
  11. residence
  12. Socialization
  13. urban areas
  14. wildlife research center
  1. peer-reviewed