The wellbeing of allotment gardeners: a mixed methodological study

Hinds, J. (2015) The wellbeing of allotment gardeners: a mixed methodological study. Ecopsychology, 7 (1). pp. 20-28. ISSN 1942-9347.


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Purpose: The potential for ‘‘green’’ interventions to promote mental wellbeing and reduce mental distress is increasingly being recognized. Preliminary evidence suggests that allotment gardening activities may have a
significant effect on mental well-being, but a need for further research has been highlighted. This study investigated the relationships between allotment gardening, feeling connected to nature, and well-being.

Design: A mixed-methods design was utilized. Measures of subjective well-being (quality of life), eudaimonic well-being, and connectedness to nature were administered, and qualitative data were collected via a cross-sectional online survey of 171 allotment gardeners in the United Kingdom.

Findings: Allotment gardeners’ eudaimonic well-being and quality of life in the environmental domain were significantly higher than population means reported in the literature. Regression analysis showed that the amount of time gardeners spent on their allotment during summer predicted eudaimonic well-being. This relationship was fully mediated by feelings of connectedness to nature. 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.

Conclusions: The results suggest that allotment gardening is associated with increased eudaimonic well-being but not subjective wellbeing. Furthermore, a mechanism through which allotment gardening enhances well-being is suggested: increased connectedness to nature. Limitations of the study and clinical and research implications are discussed.

Key Words: Allotment gardening—Connectedness to nature—Well-being—Eudaimonia.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Allotment gardening; connectedness to nature; well-being; eudaimonia
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0511 Affection. Feeling. Emotion > BF0515 Well-being
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture > SB0450.9 Gardens and gardening
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology
Depositing User: Joe Hinds
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2015 12:36
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2016 04:28

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