Image by Juliane Liebermann

What You Need to Know About

Nature-Deficit Disorder

Although it’s not a legitimate medical diagnosis, nature-deficit disorder is no less alarming. As people become more connected to technology, they become more and more disconnected from the outside world. This, in turn, leads to a good number of physical and mental health concerns. Kids are particularly vulnerable to this disorder, giving rise to learning and behavioral problems, as well as weakened immune systems. These barely scratch the surface of this unwanted phenomenon, however, so Allegheny Family Network has put together a list of resources to help parents better understand this condition and do something about it.


What’s the problem


These resources provide more information about nature-deficit disorder and how too much time spent indoors and in front of tech devices can harm your child's health.


Author Richard Louv Explains Nature-Deficit Disorder

The Indoor Generation and the Health Risks of Spending More Time Inside

Are Children Choosing Technology Over Nature?


What nature can do


The benefits of spending time outside are numerous -- from improved memory and mood to an increase in exercise and an appreciation of nature.


Why Spending More Time Outside is Healthy

6 Reasons Children Need To Play Outside

This is the Brain on Nature


How you can start at home


There are plenty of activities that can entice your children to go in the backyard more often, and they can even learn more about wildlife, conservation, and the importance of completing chores.


A Guide to Wildlife Observation in Your Backyard

Conservation for Kids: Help the Environment at Home

The Best Outdoor Chores for Kids


What else is out there


Looking to venture beyond your backyard? Here are some fun activities that your child can try.


4 Tips When Mountain Biking With Your Child

The Best Sports for Kids -- And How to Find the Right One for Your Child

Benefits of Camp: Psychological Aspects


Yes, nature-deficit disorder is a real threat, but it’s one that can be fought. And with Mother Nature as our ally, there’s really no reason to lose. So, go ahead and gather the kids for a great adventure. She is waiting.


Allegheny Family Network works to support families who have children with emotional and mental health needs, by offering a support line, programs, training workshops, and resources.

Allegheny Family Network



CHATLine offers a well trained and experienced Family Support Partner with personal experience raising a child with behavioral issues who can help with connections to community services, negotiating different systems, or emotional support.  The families can also call to request a face to face one on one Family Support Partner through the CHATLine.


* CHATLine hours of operation are 9:00 am—4:30 pm Monday through Friday.  Calls received after hours will have the option of leaving a message and will receive a call back on the next business day. 

* This CHATLine is not a crisis line.  The CHATLine is a support line and referral service.  In the event of a crisis—AFN staff will refer callers to emergency support services such as 911 or Resolve Crisis Network. 

425 North Craig Street, Suite 500   |   Pittsburgh, PA 15213   |   Phone: 412-246-2030

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Parent. Family, Advocacy, Mental Health, Children