Richard Louv (born 1949) is an American nonfiction author and journalist. He is best known for his seventh book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder (first published in 2005 by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill), which investigates the relationship of children and the natural world in current and historical contexts. Louv created the term “nature-deficit disorder” to describe possible negative consequences to individual health and the social fabric as children move indoors and away from physical contact with the natural world – particularly unstructured, solitary experience. Louv cites research pointing to attention disorders, obesity, a dampening of creativity and depression as problems associated with a nature-deficient childhood. He amassed information on the subject from practitioners of many disciplines to make his case, and is commonly credited with helping to inspire an international movement to reintroduce children to nature.
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