Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Laura E. Knouse


In 2015, the United Nations deemed promoting individual well-being of paramount importance, along with seventeen other sustainable development goals (to be achieved by 2030). Unfortunately, overall mental health has taken sharp declines with the unprecedented onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (OECD, 2021). According to a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the prevalence of anxiety and depression has increased globally; it has doubled or more than doubled as compared to previous years (OECD, 2021). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported increasing levels of adverse mental health conditions, substance use, and suicidal ideation in the United States (Czeisler, 2020). The socially detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused people to place greater emphasis on prioritizing and restoring mental health, which the World Health Organization defines as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community” (World Health Organization, 2004, p. 12). In light of this context, with the goal to improve people’s mental health, it is essential that psychology researchers strive to understand factors that may contribute to well-being. In this study, I examined the relationships amongst connection to nature, self-compassion, and wellbeing.