Exploring the relationship between suburban allotment gardening and wellbeing: An interpretative phenomenological analysis

Clatworthy, J., Hinds, J. and Camic, Paul M. (2017) Exploring the relationship between suburban allotment gardening and wellbeing: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Ecopsychology, 9 (3). pp. 121-129. ISSN 1942-9347.

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Evidence suggests that gardening can have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of people experiencing mental health difficulties. There is currently a lack of research exploring the potential public health benefits of gardening among non-clinical populations. Therefore the aims of this paper were to explore the relationship between allotment gardening and wellbeing from the suburban allotment-holder’s perspective. Six suburban allotment gardeners were interviewed to elicit their personal experiences of allotment gardening and its impact on their wellbeing. Transcripts were subjected to Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) with seven main themes emerging: fundamental importance of growing and valuing food; physical and mental protection; feeling connected to people, place and time; pride, mastery and control; pleasure of being in nature; problem solving, learning and accepting; acting on values. Parallels were drawn between these themes and psychological models of wellbeing and motivation. The research suggests that allotments are flexible environments that may enable people to meet a wide range of individual needs, enhancing wellbeing. They may be a particularly valuable resource for the promotion of wellbeing in urban and suburban areas, where people may feel detached from nature and a sense of community.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Well-being; allotments; community gardens; hierarchy of needs; health promotion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0636 Applied psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
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: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology > Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Prof Paul M Camic
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2017 08:53
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2018 18:45
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/16357

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