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The study shows empirical evidence of the moderator effect that school and home nearby nature has on children. A total of 172 children were interviewed and data about their stress level, the amount of nature they perceive around them and frequency of exposure to adversity were collected. The nearby nature at home and in the school for each of the children was measured using a designed scale. The results suggest that nature bolsters childrens resilience so that those children who have more contact with nature cope better with adversity than those who do not have daily access to nature.
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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 38 ( 2012 ) 253 – 263
1877-0428 © 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies(cE-Bs),
Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia
doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.03.347
AicE-Bs 2010 Kuching
Asia Pacific International Conference on Environment-Behaviour Studies, Grand
Margherita Hotel, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, 7-9 December 2010
Nature as a Moderator of Stress in Urban Children
José A. Corraliza
*
, Silvia Collado & Lisbeth Bethelmy
Faculty of Psychology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Abstract
The study shows empirical evidence of the moderator effect that school and home nearby nature has on children. A
total of 172 children were interviewed and data about their stress level, the amount of nature they perceive around
them and frequency of exposure to adversity were collected. The nearby nature at home and in the school for each of
the children was measured using a designed scale. The results suggest that nature bolsters children´s resilience so that
those children who have more contact with nature cope better with adversity than those who do not have daily access
to nature.
© 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and peer-review under responsibility of Centre for Environment-
Behaviour Studies (cE-Bs), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia
Keywords: Nature; children; moderator effect; stress
1. Antecedents
Nowadays, people spend less time in contact with nature than they did a few decades ago and this
change in our lifestyle is negatively affecting our health as well as the natural world. This disconnection
from nature and its negative consequences have been gathered by Louv (2005) in the term “Nature Deficit
Disorder” and, even though it is not a recognized illness, empirical evidence supports this idea. Following
*
Corresponding author. Tel.: 0034914975234; fax: +34 91 397 5215.
E-mail address: josea.corraliza@uam.es
.
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
© 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Centre for Environment-
Behaviour Studies(cE-Bs), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia
254 José A. Corraliza et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 38 ( 2012 ) 253 – 263
this line of research, the present investigation intends to study whether nearby nature, such as nature in
the school area as well as in the home area, would have any benefits on children´s psychological health.
In regards to children, several studies have proved that the disconnection from the natural world is
negatively affecting their physical (Ordemir & Yilmaz, 2008) and mental health (Taylor, Kuo & Sullivan,
2002; Wells, 2000) and, at the same time, is reducing children´s affinity towards the natural world
(Collado & Corraliza, 2011; Wells & Lekies, 2006). Part of these negative effects is produced by the lack
of opportunities for psychological restoration that is usually supported by natural environments. It is well
known that the natural world is the most suitable environment to recover from a task that requires
attention, in other words, the natural environment is the best place to get our attention capacity back
(Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989) and, therefore, to achieve an effective psychological functioning. Some studies
about the restorative effects of nature in children show that spending time in nature is good for children´s
cognitive functioning (Well, 2000), nature helps children to cope with their problems, to think clearly and
to feel free and relaxed (Korpela, Kytta & Hartig, 2002), it decreases the symptoms of ADHD (Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in children who suffer from this illness (Taylor & Kuo, 2009) and it
increases the self-discipline of girls whose houses have views to natural elements (Taylor, Kuo &
Sullivan, 2002), among others.
In order to achieve a better understanding of the positive effects that contact with nature has on
children, the nature buffering hypothesis argues that nature buffers the negative effects produced by
stressful situations to which children are exposed. In other words, it is not a direct effect of nature on
children, like the ones described when talking about the restorative effects of nature, but a mediator effect
in which nature acts as an intermediate between two variables, in this case between the adverse situations
to which children are exposed and the stress level that they suffer from that exposure (the negative effect).
The most relevant study done about the nature buffering hypothesis was carried out by Wells and
Evans (2003). The authors’ sample was formed by children from rural areas of the State of New York.
Wells and Evans (2003) suggest that houses´ nearby nature is an additional tool to deal with stressful
events so that the stress level suffered by the children who live in a more natural environment should be
lower than the one showed by children whose contact with the natural world is less frequent.
Their results confirmed that children who lived in more natural areas coped better with (and were less
vulnerable to) adversity than those who did not have access to natural environments. Moreover, children
who were more vulnerable - those who suffered stressful events more frequently - were the ones who
benefited the most.
The aim of the present study is to evaluate whether the nearby nature existing in places where children
spend their time (residential and school areas) moderates the effects produced by the stressful events
children are exposed to. It was decided to take into account the nature existing in school areas as children
spend many hours in the school environment, and it is compulsory for them to be there. Moreover, even if
there are only a few studies evaluating the influence that nature existing in the school environment has on
children´s wellbeing, the evidence shows that when playgrounds are more natural, children are healthier
(Ozdemir & Yilmaz, 2008), they play more and their activities are more diverse (Lindholm, 1995).
In order to study the nature buffering hypothesis, this research, as the one done by Wells and Evans
(2003), is based on the Moderator Model of Baron and Kenny (1986). These authors claim that the
moderator is a “qualitative (e.g., sex, race, class) or quantitative (e. g., level of reward) variable that
affects the direction and/or the strength of the relation between an independent or predictor variable and a
dependent or criterion variable. In the present study, the dependent variable or the outset is the children´s
stress level and the independent variable is the frequency of stressful events suffered by children,
measured in an objective way.
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Fig. 1. Moderator model. Adapted from Baron & Kenny (1986, 1174)
The moderator hypothesis (Fig. 1) is supported if the interaction (Path c) is significant (Baron &
Kenny, 1986). There can also be significant effects for the predictor and the moderator (paths a and b),
but they do not indicate a moderator effect.
The present research studies if there are any direct effects of nature whether path a is significant- or
direct effects of the stressful events whether path b is significant on the outset variable (perceived
stress or stress level). Moreover, the possible moderator effect of nearby nature is studied, in other words,
whether path c is significant.
The objectives of the investigation are mainly three. First, to evaluate the positive effects that nearby
nature has on children. Second, to get a better understanding of the nature buffering hypothesis. Third, to
include for the first time in the study of the nature buffering hypothesis, the nature in the school area as
well as the nature perceived by the children.
2. Methodology
2.1. Participants
The sample was formed by 172 children (53% boys and 47% girls) aged 10 to 13 (M= 11.3; SD =
.673).
2.2. Instruments
x Nearby Nature Observational Scale (Collado, 2009): This instrument registers the amount of nature
children have access to. It is divided into two subscales that measure the amount of nature in the
school area and the nature in the home area. The first subscale includes variables such as the amount of
natural elements in the school playground or how natural the views are, among others. The subscale of
the home area includes variables such as the views from the house windows or the walking distance to
the nearest park. Each of the variables of these subscales was given score and with the final score the
home areas and the school areas are divided in four groups: non natural, mixed, natural and very
natural. The nearby nature global score is calculated combining the nearby nature in the home area and
the nearby nature in the residential area. By doing so, a single score of the nearby nature the child has
access to is obtained.
x Perceived Stress Scale (Martorell, Sánchez, Miranda & Escrivá, 1990): This instrument if formed by
50 items: 25 items are used to measure the stress level of the children taking into consideration the
b
c
Predictor Variable:
Stressful Events
Moderator Variable:
Nearby nature
Objective/Perceived
Stressful Events
X
Nearby nature
Objective/Perceived
Outcome variable:
Perceived stress
a
256 José A. Corraliza et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 38 ( 2012 ) 253 – 263
stressful events registered in the home area and 25 items that register the stress level associated to
stressful events in the school area. Participants are asked to indicate whether the feel nervous or tense
when they are in the situations described in the scale, and the frequency of them. For example, in the
situation “Before taking an exam” the child can answer: 1 (never or almost never), 2 (sometimes), 3
(most of the time) or 4 (always or almost always). The final score indicates the stress level at home, in
the school and the global score is the average between the 2 subscales.
x Perceived Nature Questionnaire: It measures the perception that the child has about the nearby nature
in his or her surroundings, i.e.: “I think that my house is in a natural surrounding” or “I consider that
the playground in my school is natural”. The child can answer: 1 (not at all), 2 (yes, there is a bit of
nature), 3 (yes, there is some nature) or 4 (There is a lot of nature). The nature that people perceive has
been used in previous studies as an indicator of the amount of nature existing in a place (Hur, Nasar &
Chun, 2010).
x Stressful Events Questionnaire: It is based in the Stressful Events Repertoire of Lewis (Lewis, Seigel
& Lewis, 1984). Among the 20 stressful situations described by the authors, 5 have been selected.
These five are the ones that have been described as being the main sources of psychological distress
(not spending enough time with the parents, parents argue when the child is present, not having
enough time to do their homework, having nothing to do and not having enough money to spend on
what they want). Participants were asked about the frequency of occurrence of each of these events in
the last year (1, it never happened to me to 5, it happened to me all the time). It needs to be noticed that
this instrument is not a scale and that it is intended to collect data about the frequency of occurrence of
each of the events. As Lewis et al. (1984) recommend, in this study each of the stressful events have
been used individually. It could be considered that if the five stressful events occurred to a child at the
same time he or she would be very stressed, but that does not mean that a frequent exposure to just one
of them would produce less stress.
2.3. Procedure
Data were collected collectively in four primary schools chosen according to the amount of nature
existing in the school and in its surroundings: very natural (San Julián School), natural (Fuente del Oro
School), medium amount of nature mixed school (Santa Ana School) and non natural (Santa María de la
Expectación School). To check the amount of nearby nature in each of the school the Nearby Nature
Observational Scale was used.
All the self reported instruments were filled in by the children with the present of one of the
researchers. The average time for the data collection was 35 minutes. Children were asked for their
addresses and all the houses were visited in order to register the amount of nature near the houses.
3. Results and Discussion
3.1. Perceived nature, perceived stress and frequency of stressful events. Descriptive data
The perceived nature in the four schools is statistically different (F (125, 730) = 3.17, p < .001) as well as
the perceived stress level (F(3, 171) = 4.19, p < .01) (see Tables 1 and 2).
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Table 1. Means and standard deviations for the nature perceived in each school and the stress level showed in each school
San Julián
Very natural
Fuente d el Oro
Natural
Santa Ana
Mixed
Santa María de la
Expectación
Non Natural
M
SD
M
SD
M
SD
M
SD
4
0.00
3.22
.66
2.88
.73
1.75
.60
2.31
.49
2.58
.63
2.34
.52
2.66
.54
Table 2. Student´s t-test using perceived nature in the school and stress level in the school as dependent variables.
Very natural-non
natural
Very natural-mixed
Natural-non natural
Natural-mixed
Mixed-non
natural
t student for
perceived
nature
22.09**
-9.15**
5.36**
-14.56**
-4.63**
t student for
stress level
-2.84**
Non significant
differences
-2.13*
Non significant
differences
-1.99*
* p < .05; ** p < .01
The objective stress is linked to the frequency of exposure of the child to the stressful events. In this
way, the amount of times that children are exposed to the stressful event not spending enough time with
the parents, changes significantly among the four schools, (F (3,170) = 6.12), p < .01). Children from the
very natural school are the ones who suffer not spending time with their parents more frequently, (M =
2.94; SD = 1.32) and children from the non natural school are the ones who spend more time with their
parents, (M = 1.91; SD = 1.16). See Fig. 3.
There are also significant differences in the frequency of the stressful event not having enough money
to spend on what they want (F (3,170) = 3.46, p < .05). However, the differences are not significant for any
of the three other stressful events registered: not having enough time to do their homework, having
nothing to do and parents argue when the child is present.
Fig. 2. Perceived stress level and perceived nature in the school among the four schools
258 José A. Corraliza et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 38 ( 2012 ) 253 – 263
Fig. 3. Frequency of stressful events among the four schools.
3.2. Relation of the frequency of stressful events and nearby nature with the perceived stress level
Variance analysis were carried out in order to check whether there is a relation between the frequency
of stressful events and the perceived stress level, taking the stress level as the dependent variable and the
frequency of each of the stressful events as the factor. Results show that there are significant differences
in children´s stress level according to the amount of time they are exposed to their parents arguments (F
(4,170) = 7.35; p < .01). In the same way, there are also significant differences in children´s stress level
according to the frequency of the stressful event not having enough time to do their homework, (F (4,170) =
3.45, p < .05) and also depending on the frequency of exposure to the stressful event not having enough
money to spend on what they want, F (4,170) = 2.45, p < .05). It can be concluded that the stressful events
have a direct effect on the perceived stress level.
At the same time, perceived nearby nature also affect children´s stress level directly. The Pearson
correlations in Table 3 show that there is a significant negative correlation between the perceived nearby
nature (at school and daily) and the nearby nature measured objectively (in the home area and global) and
the stress level, so that the higher the amount of nature the lower the stress level. These results
corroborate the idea that nearby nature has a direct positive effect on children´s wellbeing. Moreover, the
variance analysis show that children´s stress level varies according to the amount of nature children
perceive in the school (F (3, 170) = 4.07, p < .01. The amount of nature that a school has and the nature
children perceive in the school influence students stress level.
Table 3. Correlation between nearby nature and perceived stress (average and in the school)
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Perceived
nature in the
school
Perceived
nature at home
Daily perceived
nature
Objective
nature in the
school
Objective
nature at home
Daily nature
Average total
stress level
-.302**
.070
-.155**
-.087
-.087
-.138*
Stress level in
the school
-.196**
-.095
-.009
-.025
-.192**
-.257
* p < .05; ** p < .01
3.3. Stress level according to nearby nature and the frequency of stressful events
Nature buffering hypothesis suggests that nearby nature moderates the negative effect (perceived
stress) produced by the stressful events so that children who have more nature around them suffer less
stress than those who do not have nature in the surroundings, even when both groups of children are
exposed to the same frequency of stressful events. One example of how the stress level diminishes in the
presence of nature can be seen in Figure 4. There are four groups of children: the first two groups are
children how suffer a low frequency of the stressful event not spending enough time with the parents and
groups 3 and 4 are children who suffer a high frequency of this stressful event. As shown in Figure 4,
there are significant differences in the perceived stress level in the four groups, F (3,123) = 6.37, p < .01.
Moreover, the stress level is also different among those children who are exposed to the same frequency
of stressful event. As it can be seen in Figure 4, the stress level of children from groups 1 and 2 is
different, even though they are exposed to not spending time with their parents with the same frequency.
These differences are significant (t = -3.16, p < .05) meaning that children in group 2 show a higher stress
level (M = 2.85; SD = .49) than children in group 1 (M = 2.53; SD = .57). Moreover, the nature
perceived in the school is different in these two groups, being higher in group 1 (M = 3.76; SD = .50) than
in group 2 (M =1.83; SD = .38). This difference is statistically significant (t = 14.00, p < .01). In the same
way, it has been proven that there are significant differences in the perceived stress level of children in
group 3 (M = 2.29; SD = .50) and 4 (M = 2.55; SD = .60), being t = -2.46, p < .05. The perceived nearby
nature in the school area is also different in these two groups (t = 15.61, p < .01), being higher the
perceived nature in group 3 (M = 3.53; SD = .55) than in group 4 (M = 1.70; SD = .46; See Figure 4).
The combination of the other stressful events and the nearby nature brought us to similar results.
260 José A. Corraliza et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 38 ( 2012 ) 253 – 263
Fig. 4. Perceived stress according to the interaction between not spending enough time with the parents and perceived nature in the
school.
It can be concluded that children´s stress level diminishes as the amount of nearby nature increases.
However, even though a moderator effect can be foreseen, it cannot be assured that there is a moderator
effect. In order to study the possible moderator effect, a new variable called Interaction between nature
and the stressful event has been calculated, where each stressful event is each of the stressful events
registered and where nature is each kind of measure of nature taken into consideration. For this study, the
interaction variables that more significantly affect children´s stress level have been chosen.
3.4. The moderator effect of nearby nature
Using hierarchical regression analyses, the possible moderator effect of the different types of nature
measured has been addressed. Four interaction effects were found significant. First of all, the stress level
produced by the stressful events having nothing to do was moderated by the nature children perceive in
their school, when the stress level at home and the stress level in the school were taken as dependent
variables. As it can be seen in Table 4, the effect of the perceived nature in the school is significant, F
(1,170) = 49.51; p < .01. This means that children who perceive more nature in their school area show a
lower stress level than those whose school is non natural. The next line points out that the stress level is
also influenced by having nothing to do and, therefore, those children how frequently experience having
nothing to do are the ones who are more stressed, F (1,169) = 11.12; p < .01. Finally, the last line represents
the interaction between the perceived nearby nature in the school area and the stressful event. The
interaction effect is also statistically significant meaning that nearby nature in the school area moderates
the stress produced by having nothing to do, F (1,168) = 8.73, p < .001. As it can be seen in Figure 5, there
is an interaction effect represented by the union of both lines of the graph. According to Figure 5, when
the frequency of the stressful event is low, the stress level shown by the children is low, being
considerable low when the school playground is perceived as natural by the children. However, when the
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José A. Corraliza et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 38 ( 2012 ) 253 – 263
frequency of the stressful event is high the stress level is also high, even with the presence of nearby
nature.
Table 4. Regression of children´s stress level in the school onto perceived nature in the school, having nothing to do and interaction
of perceived nature in the school x having nothing to do.
Model
Predictor
Total R2
Δ R2
F(Δ R2)
df
b
SEb
β
p
Main effect
Perceived
nature in the
school
.226
.226
49.514**
1,170
.238
.034
.475
.000
Main effect
Having
nothing to do
.273
.048
11.125**
1,169
-.110
.033
-.219
.001
Interaction
Perceived
nature in the
school x
having
nothing to do
.309
.0.036
8.737**
1,178
.096
.033
.745
.004
* p < .05; ** p < .01
Fig. 5. Interaction effect between the stressful event having nothing to do and the perceived nature in the school
Similar results we obtained for the following interactions: 1) Interaction between perceived nature in
the school and the stressful event having nothing to do, taking stress at home as the dependent variable. 2)
Interaction between perceived nature in the home area and the stressful event parents arguing while the
child is present, taking the stress at home as the dependent variable, and finally 3) Interaction between
perceived nature in the school area and the stressful event not spending enough time with their parents,
taking the global stress level as the dependent variable.
262 José A. Corraliza et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 38 ( 2012 ) 253 – 263
4. Conclusions
Nearby nature moderates the negative effects produced by stressful events. In this way, those children
who have more access to natural areas are able to cope better with stress and therefore their stress level is
lower than it would be expected if nature was not acting as a protective factor. The impact of stressful
events on children is weaker when the amount of nearby nature is higher.
In contrast to previous studies (Wells and Evans, 2003), the present investigation has taking into
consideration not only the nearby nature measured in an objective way (with a scale) but also the
moderator effect of the nature that children perceive. The data collected in this study show that the
perceived nature in the four schools is different and that the stress level of the children in each school also
differs from one to another. It can be concluded that children in the very natural school are able to cope
better with stress than children who attend classes in the non natural school, and this reinforces the
importance that the amount of nature that children have in their school and its surroundings.
To sum up, four interaction effects were found significant meaning that a moderator effect of nearby
nature does exist. The low accessibility to the natural world, more frequent in today´s society, negatively
affects children´s wellbeing and reduces their capacity to cope with adversity. With this idea in mind, it
can be concluded that including natural elements in home and school areas is important to children.
Children´s health and wellbeing also depend on the way that these environments encourage children´s
contact with nature.
Acknowledgement
This research has been carried out supported by the Spanish Ministry of Sciences and Innovation (PSI
2009-13422).
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... Furthermore, Hackman et al. (2021) found that associations between neighborhood disadvantage and brain morphometry were partially attenuated by caregiver and Our results also complement research on the importance of physical environments for cognitive performance. For example, youth experience reduced stress and attention deficits after exposure to natural greenspace settings (Amoly et al., 2014;Corraliza et al., 2012;Faber Taylor & Kuo, 2009;Wells & Evans, 2003). Natural interventions, such as creating green space and increasing greenspace access, may additionally foster greater positive impact in neighborhoods with higher resource deprivation (Mitchell et al., 2015). ...
... This is especially compelling since natural spaces are more commonly found in neighborhoods with higher median socioeconomic characteristics (Dai, 2011;Wolch et al., 2014). Enriched neighborhood greenspaces can also benefit cardiometabolic indicators of allostatic load and cognition across the lifespan (Amoly et al., 2014;Corraliza et al., 2012;Kardan et al., 2015). Furthermore, adolescent cognitive performance improves with neighborhood access to public parks and trees, partially due to reduced air pollution (Dadvand et al., 2015). ...
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... Emerging research suggests that having more vegetation around schools is associated with lower levels of exposure to vehicle emissions, possibly due to displacement of road space by greenspace and air pollutants being filtered or dispersed by trees and plants (Dadvand et al., 2015a). Areas with trees, shrubs or grass in school grounds and natural features nearby have been shown to be supportive of learning by helping to reduce stress levels among children (Chawla et al., 2014;Corraliza et al., 2012), and views of vegetation rather than buildings were shown to promote attention and stress recovery among high school students (i. e. adolescents) (Li and Sullivan, 2016). ...
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Background Evolving evidence suggests that vegetation surrounding schools is beneficial to children's academic performance, however vehicle emissions are adversely related. Little is known about concurrent impacts of vegetation and vehicle emissions on academic performance. This study examined associations of vegetation and vehicle emissions near urban Australian primary schools with children's academic performance. Methods Vegetation within schoolyards and Euclidean buffers (100, 300 and 1000m) was assessed using the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Weighted road density (WRD) was computed for each buffer as a vehicle emissions proxy. Cross-sectional associations and mediating pathways between vegetation and vehicle emissions and standardised average academic scores in Literacy (Reading, Writing, Language Conventions) and Mathematics for Grades 3 and 5 attending 3745 primary schools in urban areas (population ≥10,000) of Australia in 2018 were assessed using generalised linear models adjusted for school socio-educational status. Results Significant positive associations were found between vegetation and Reading in Grades 3 and 5, Mathematics in Grade 3 (all buffers), Writing in Grade 3 (100 and 300m), and Language Conventions in Grades 3 and 5 (most buffers). Increased vehicle emissions were negatively associated with Reading and Mathematics in Grades 3 and 5 (most buffers), and Language Conventions in Grade 3 (300 and 1000m) and Grade 5 (100–1000m). Within 300m, vehicle emissions partially mediated associations between vegetation with Mathematics in Grade 3 (proportion mediated, 21%), Reading and Language Conventions in Grade 5 (15%, 37% respectively). Conclusions Our findings contribute to growing evidence that vegetation around primary schools is associated with higher achievement in Literacy and Mathematics, with partial mediation by vehicle emissions. Future studies should conduct on-site measurement of vehicle emissions and audit vegetation around schools to confirm findings and inform urban/school planners and school leaders on designing and modifying school environments to support learning.
... Meanwhile, continued research interest was shown in the effects of biophilic and natural environments in the context of daily living, often in the availability of or accessibility to nature visuals via windows (Bolten and Barbiero, 2020). Corraliza et al. (2012) also highlighted nature as a moderator of stress in urban children. While there is some evidence to support the idea that windows with natural views can generate lower levels of stress, very little is known about the moderating effects of natural window views on the relationship between ART constructs and the psychological well-being of university students. ...
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Many university students experience high levels of study-related fatigue, hence, necessitating opportunities for restoration. They could potentially benefit from campus-based physical activities that provide them with effective restoration breaks and allow them to return to their studies cognitively refreshed. Thus, a cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the association between perceived restorativeness among postgraduates and their psychological well-being by using the four constructs of Kaplan's attention restoration theory (ART): fascination, being away, extent, and compatibility. In this study, nature view windows were also used as a moderator. Malaysian postgraduate students [n = 192; 94 females; age in years (M = 30.64, SD = 2.73)] completed the Ryff's scale of psychological wellbeing (PWB) and perceived restorativeness scale for activity (PRAS). This study used the partial least squares-structural equation model (PLS-SEM) to examine these relationships. The results demonstrate that three ART constructs, namely, being away, fascination, and compatibility, are significant predictors of psychological well-being across the sample size. Furthermore, for participants who reside in university dormitories, windows that overlook nature can enhance the relationship of being away, compatibility, and fascination to psychological well-being, compared with those with less natural views. Thus, this study confirmed the moderating effect of nature view windows and provided insight into the ART constructs that facilitate and enhance restorative experiences. By strengthening ART with additional factors, this study has also contributed toward the improvement of the psychological well-being of university students.
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Adolescence is a critical developmental phase during which beneficial nature and food connections can be shaped. Currently nature relatedness research does not typically consider food as an integral component of nature. This exploratory study seeks to understand Australian adolescents’ connections to nature and their food, and how these relate to their overall sense of wellbeing. A mixed methods approach combined an implicit association test with urban and rural adolescents, and a survey to measure nature relatedness, wellbeing, healthy food attitudes and behaviours. Most adolescents considered that food connected them with nature; however urban students were less likely than rural students to state specifically that food comes from nature. Meanwhile, family cohesion significantly predicts adolescent wellbeing and positive healthy eating attitudes. These findings suggest implications for effective strategies that foster sustainable healthy behaviours and opportunities for interaction with nature. Further, food and food production should be incorporated into future nature relatedness research, as well as nature relatedness considered in adolescent nutritional health research.
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Urban natural spaces can be sites of psychological restoration that improve physiological well-being and contribute to overall health for people living in cities. Though our cities differ in composition and our cultures have different conceptions of nature, urban residents across the Pacific Rim appear to benefit from some interaction with nature. Urban nature is situated within a diverse range of landscape types: greenspaces such as parks and greenway corridors, blue spaces such as waterways and shorelines, and gray spaces such as redesigned industrial lands and hybrid infrastructures. In the past decades, research has focused on building an understanding of how urban landscapes impact health outcomes. It is increasingly evident that exposure to urban nature, particularly greenspaces, positively impacts human health. From this research, we can suggest evidence-based landscape design directions to improve the health and well-being of urban residents and suggest future directions for further collaborative research.
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1] Technopoly: the surrender of culture to Technology [2] Last Child in the Woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder [3] The Effect of Family-Centered Nature Therapy on Interactions Between Parent and Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder [4] Nature as a moderator of stress in urban children [5] Recognizing the role of nature in educational spaces [6] Fundamentals of children playground design based on innovation model [7] Effect of frequency and mode of contact with nature on children's self-reported ecological behaviors [8] The ever-present origin [9] The geography of childhood: Why children need wild places [10] Wildlands for children: consideration of the value of natural environments in landscape planning [11] Affordances of children's environments: a functional approach to environmental description [12] Making sense of place: children's understanding of large-scale environments [13] The hidden curriculum of school grounds [14] The great outdoors. Restoring children's rights to play outside [15] Eden in a vacant lot: special places, species and kids in the community of life [16] Children's Outdoor Environment [17] Dreams and creativity [18] A Pattern Language [19] Groups, teams, and creativity: the creative potential of idea-generating groups [20] Collaborative-creativity [21] The natural environment as a playground for children [22] Exploring water with young children [23] Learning through play [24] Growing with children: the early childhood years [25] Make-believe: games and activities for imaginative play [26] Multi-dimensional constructs research method Aim soil, plant in playgrounds on children's achievements. Achievements of the presence of the child in the natural environment include nature's ability to promote cultivating skills, enhance mental and cognitive skills, facilitate learning, and rehabilitate the relationship between the child and nature. Meanwhile, later two ones, as factors that are only achieved through the placement of a child in a green environment, are chosen to be one of the child's achievements. Although the way through which the child is accessed to these two important issues is explored. Instrument & Methods The statistical population of the study consisted of psychologists and parents of children aged 5-12 years old in Tehran who were asked to fill in the questionnaire. Findings The results indicate that the green approach in the playground has a positive and significant effect on the achievements of children. Results also show that the impact of the designed playground on the achievements of children is more than the impact of the pristine playground on the achievements of children. Conclusion Despite the presence of the game in the historical experience of mankind and its role in the growth of the child, also considering the impact of children's attendance in the natural playground, today we can observe a decrease in the quality of playgrounds and ignorance of green approach in playgrounds. The results indicate that the designed playground with a green approach has a significant effect on children's achievements.
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Several studies in the Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon countries have shown a decline in outdoor activities and contact with nature during childhood. In Latin countries, these studies are still missing. A total of 562 urban children from Lisbon (Portugal) and 303 of their parents took part in the present study, which mainly aimed to compare the intergenerational engagement in outdoor activities. The results showed a decrease in children’s outdoor activities during the weekdays, weekends and summer holidays. Activities like picking berries, collecting rocks and fossils or climbing trees appear to be rarely performed nowadays. Furthermore, the results suggested that schools are no longer playing a role in promoting outdoor activities and children are spending their leisure time indoors, using technological devices or going shopping. Finally, the decline in outdoor activities seems to affect boys and girls equally. Several implications are discussed and recommendations for parents, teachers and politicians are proposed.
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What role might the natural environment play in resilience? Remarkably, there has been little connection between the nature-health research and resilience research and theory. In this chapter, I first suggest that nature ought to figure more centrally within human resilience literature and frameworks. This chapter aims to bridge the divide between literatures by considering the evidence that nature may be a resilience factor that can moderate the impact of risk or adversity on health and functioning. Second, I argue that due to a preoccupation with the direct effects of nature on health, the role of the natural environment as a moderator of the relation between risk factors or adversity and health outcomes is under-appreciated and under-explored. Acting as a moderator or buffer, nearby nature or green space may have the potential to attenuate the relation between risk and health, to dampen negative health outcomes among vulnerable populations and ultimately, thereby, to reduce health disparities. Four outcomes are examined: mental health, physical health, birth weight, and academic achievement. For each of these outcomes, I consider: the impact of risk and adversity, including poverty; evidence of nature’s moderating effect; and plausible explanatory pathways (i.e., mediated moderation), with a focus on executive functioning and social connection. I then briefly consider access to nature as an environmental justice issue. Is it the case that while nature may have the potential to mitigate health disparities, those most in need have the least access? I close with implications for future research.
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This paper examines connections between childhood involvement with the natural environment and adult environmentalism from a life course perspective. Approximately 2,000 adults age 18-90 living in urban areas throughout the United States were interviewed with respect to their childhood nature experiences and their current, adult attitudes and behaviors relating to the environment. Model testing and cross-validation procedures using structural equation modeling suggest that childhood participation with nature may set an individual on a trajectory toward adult environmentalism. Specifically, childhood participation in "wild" nature such as hiking or playing in the woods, camping, and hunting or fishing, as well as participation with "domesticated" nature such as picking flowers or produce, planting trees or seeds, and caring for plants in childhood have a positive relationship to adult environmental attitudes. "Wild nature" participation is also positively associated with environmental behaviors while "domesticated nature" experiences are marginally related to environmental behaviors.
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Identifying mechanisms that buffer children from life's stress and adversity is an important empirical and practical concern. This study focuses on nature as a buffer of life stress among rural children. To examine whether vegetation near the residential environment might buffer or moderate the impact of stressful life events on children's psychological well-being, data were collected from 337 rural children in Grades 3 through 5 (mean age=9.2 years). Dependent variables include a standard parent-reported measure of children's psychological distress and children's own ratings of global self-worth. In a rural setting, levels of nearby nature moderate the impact of stressful life events on the psychological well-being of children. Specifically, the impact of life stress was lower among children with high levels of nearby nature than among those with little nearby nature. Implications of these finding are discussed with respect to our understanding of resilience and protective mechanisms.
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Two groups of schoolyards for junior- and intermediate-level schools were studied. A previous study had shown that teachers considered these groups of schoolyards to be "good" and bad, respectively. It was found that the good schoolyards had woods either in or near them, whereas the bad schoolyards did not. It also was seen that children in the good schoolyards took-part In a greater number of activities than children in the bad ones. The schoolyards' different places were used with different frequency and for different activities in the two groups. The results indicate that when the place is included in the activity concept, it is possible to point out general differences, regarding place as well as activity, between schoolyards that were perceived as good or bad.
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This study intends to find a relation between children´s perceived restoration and their environmental orientations. In order to do that, a designed perceived restoration scale adapted from the PRCS-C II was used as well as an adapted version of the Children´s Environmental Perceptions Scale (CEPS). A total of 832 children aged between 6 and 13 participated in the study. The results show that there is a relation between the perceived restoration due to the nature present in the school playground and the environmental orientations children show. Keywords: Children, environmental orientations, perceived restoration, nature. © 2017 The Authors. Published for AMER ABRA by e-International Publishing House, Ltd., UK. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Peer–review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers), ABRA (Association of Behavioural Researchers on Asians) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.
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The nearby natural environment plays a far more significant role in the well-being of children residing in poor urban environments than has previously been recognized. Using a premove/postmove longitudinal design, this research explores the linkage between the naturalness or restorativeness of the home environment and the cognitive functioning of 17 low-income urban children (aged 7–12 yrs). Both before and after relocation, objective measures of naturalness were used along with a standardized instrument (the Attention Deficit Disorders Evaluation Scale) measuring the children's cognitive functioning. Results show that children whose homes improved the most in terms of greenness following relocation also tended to have the highest levels of cognitive functioning following the move. The implications with respect to policy and design are also discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Oh great. Another thing for us hypervigilant, overeducated parents to worry about. As if stranger danger and hot dogs cut horizontally instead of vertically and childhood obesity and the recommended daily allowance of Barney and whether the neighborhood sex offender is rated as level 1, 2, or 3 weren't all enough, now our children stand to suffer huge assaults to their very souls from nature-deficit disorder. Really. I’m glad Richard Louv, an author and columnist for The San Diego Union-Tribune, wrote this book about how children prefer instant messaging to playing outside; how parents, teachers, and policy makers perhaps unwittingly keep them indoors; and what kids lose in the process.
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Outdoor school environments are sites for play and physical activity for many children, and shortcomings within these environments are considered significant factors that contribute to children's inactive lifestyles and high levels of childhood obesity. This study explores the associations between the physical characteristics of schoolyards and the physical activity of third and fourth year students in five Turkish primary schools. Data were collected through multiple methods, including behavior mapping of student activities during recess, physical assessments of schoolyards, and interviews with students, teachers and administrations. The findings show similarities in the landscape features and physical qualities of schoolyards, particularly in the types of play and activities in which students engage. Results indicated that active students who walk to and from schools have lower body mass index (BMI) values than passive students, and students in schools with larger yards have lower BMI values. Most of the students prefer spacious and vegetated yards. A major concern is the crowdedness of the yards during recess that limit children's activity. Schoolyards with advanced landscape features are preferred more, and this in turn affects students’ positive satisfaction. Outdoor school environments have a correlation to health outcomes and should be designed to promote more activity. Improving the physical and landscape qualities of the public schoolyards should be the primary concern of the designers in order to increase awareness of natural environment and more important, increase the health of children.