Assessing nature exposure: a study on the reliability and validity of a Portuguese version of the nature exposure scale

Picanço, A., Arroz, A.M., Tsafack, N., Sánchez, A.F., Pereira, E., De Benedictis, M., Amorim, I.R., da Luz Melo, M. & Gabriel, R. (2024) Assessing nature exposure: a study on the reliability and validity of a Portuguese version of the nature exposure scale. 

Frontiers in Psychology, 15, 1290066. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2024.1290066 (IF2022 3,8; Q1 Psychology, Multidisciplinary)
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  • Mar, 2024


Introduction: Engaging with nature has been widely acknowledged for its positive impact on well-being. Traditionally, assessments of nature exposure focus on estimating green space exposure and outdoor time. However, the Nature Exposure Scale (NES) offers a unique approach by evaluating the quality of nature experiences, encompassing both deliberate and spontaneous encounters.

Methods: This study aimed to assess the validity and reliability of the NES in the context of Portugal. Exploratory Factor Analysis (PCA) and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) were employed to examine the underlying structure of the scale. Additionally, reliability assessments, along with tests of convergent and divergent validity, were conducted. Data were collected from a sample of 558 adults and 241 adolescents between 2016 and 2018.

Results: The findings revealed strong internal consistency of the NES, supported by acceptable correlation values and robust factor loadings within a unidimensional model. The scale effectively predicted variations in nature exposure across diverse professional activities.

Discussion: In summary, the 4-item NES emerged as a reliable tool for assessing nature exposure in various settings, effectively bridging a gap in the Portuguese context. The scale demonstrated potential for cross-cultural research and was particularly adept at predicting nature exposure in different professional contexts. The results suggest that the NES can enhance our understanding of the impact of nature on well-being in diverse cultural settings.

Conclusion: The study underscores the reliability of the NES in assessing nature exposure in Portugal, paving the way for further exploration in Portuguese-speaking regions. The scale holds promise for advancing research on the relationship between nature and well-being, contributing valuable insights across different cultural contexts.