Allotment gardening, connectedness to nature and wellbeing

Webber, Jo (2013) Allotment gardening, connectedness to nature and wellbeing. D.Clin.Psych. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Abstract

The potential for green interventions to promote mental wellbeing and reduce mental distress is increasingly being recognised (Mind, 2007). Preliminary evidence suggests that allotment gardening activities may have a significant effect on mental wellbeing, but a paucity of research, particularly in non-clinical populations, has been highlighted (Partridge, 2010).
A cross-sectional online survey of 171 allotment gardeners was conducted. Measures of subjective wellbeing (quality of life), eudaimonic wellbeing, connectedness to nature and preference for solitude were administered. Qualitative data were also collected through open-ended questions.
Allotment gardeners’ scores on measures of environmental quality of life and eudaimonic wellbeing were significantly higher than those reported in the literature, but social quality of life was lower in allotment gardeners. Regression analysis showed that time spent on the allotment during summer predicted eudaimonic wellbeing. This relationship was fully mediated by feelings of connectedness to nature. A relationship was observed between spending time on the allotment and preference for solitude. Four main themes emerged from the qualitative data: allotments provided a space of one’s own, meaningful activity, increased feelings of connectedness, and improved physical and mental health.
The results suggest that allotment gardening is associated with increased eudaimonic wellbeing, but not subjective wellbeing (also referred to as hedonic wellbeing). Furthermore, a mechanism through which allotment gardening enhances wellbeing is suggested: increased connectedness to nature. Limitations of the current study and clinical and research implications are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0076.5 Psychology research
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine > RA0790 Mental health services. Mental illness prevention
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture > SB0450.9 Gardens and gardening
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Mrs Kathy Chaney
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2013 09:26
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2017 06:07
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/12481

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00