Just as Becky DelVecchio launched her research project for her doctoral thesis, the world shut down due to COVID-19.
She had originally planned to do an ethnographic study on the psychologically restorative benefits of nature play for children and families by embedding in a nature program to study the lived experiences of children, educators and families as they move through the program. That became impossible when COVID-19 health and safety restrictions forced the closure of ECE programs across the state. For months after reopening, most programs prohibited visitors to their centers and schools.
She instead adapted her project to a mixed-methods study, which included a quantitative online survey directed at caregivers of 3-4-year-olds in Greater Boston, followed by qualitative interviews with a sample of the respondents.
DelVecchio was pleased to receive 173 completed surveys, given the pressures parents were under, especially in the early days of the pandemic. “I was really thankful and just continue to be thankful to all the families who contributed to my research,” she said.Continue Reading →