AUGUST  2017   |  FIRST ANNIVERSARY EDITIO
C&NN's Research Digest
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[ ARCHIVE ]
IN THIS ISSUE:
A curated selection of newly published research
Access to Nature in Urban Environments
>Turkish children in more redeveloped neighborhoods are less likely to interact with nature, attend to the social attributes of their communities and appreciate heritage than children in less redeveloped neighborhoods
>Natural areas are the most common play territories for Chinese children from different living environments
Contact with Nature and Health
>Street trees may be more beneficial for neonatal health than other varieties of local green space
>Early-life exposure to residential greenness was associated with lower blood pressure in young adults in Belgium
>Urban greening can promote health in the general population, but does not address socioeconomic inequities 
>Team of scholars develop a research agenda to further the evidence linking contact with nature and human health
>Pediatricians and families respond positively to a prescription program promoting outdoor physical activity for children
>Potential pathways linking greenspace to health are identified but research is needed to guide policy
>Increased exposure to green space may prove helpful in improving gestational age of newborns for women with a low level of education
>Children's active involvement may improve the effectiveness of school gardening and other health promotion programs
>Efforts by schools to increase blue space exposure might increase equitable health promotion
>Lifestyle factors, including time outdoors, explain demographic prevalence differences in children with myopia
>The relationships between neighborhood greenness and respiratory health depend on geographic region
Outdoor and Environmental Education
>Regular classes in outdoor settings may promote students' learning, health, social development and concern for the environment
>Participating in outdoor classes on a regular basis may improve children's stress responses
>Children's active involvement may improve the effectiveness of school gardening and other health promotion programs
>Children's encounters with dead and dying bees foster more complex and deeper relationships with more-than-human others
>Vermont elementary school educators find ways to effectively integrate environmental education into their practice
Pathways to Caring for the Environment
>Children's self-exposure to nature is a strong predictor of adult environmental citizenship and a lifelong commitment to nature-based activities
>Life histories of environmentally committed adults indicate that the quantity and quality of time in nature changed throughout their lives
>Children's environmental subjectivities develop through a complex interplay between various aspects of their lives
>Taiwanese research is consistent with research from other countries indicating that childhood natural experiences play a critical role in developing environmental activists
Social Justice
>Urban greening can promote health in the general population, but does not address socioeconomic inequities 
>Efforts by schools to increase blue space exposure might increase equitable health promotion
>Natural areas are the most common play territories for Chinese children from different living environments
Urban Greening and Crime Prevention
>Urban greening programs may be effective in reducing crime


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Children & Nature NetworK
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Access to Nature in Urban Environments ]
Turkish a1children in more redeveloped neighborhoods are less likely to interact with nature, attend to the social attributes of their communities and appreciate heritage than children in less redeveloped neighborhoods
Through photos and stories, children in Istanbul indicated that their most preferred places were the public realm and natural and historic places. Children in more redeveloped neighborhoods have less contact with such places. These results and the participatory photography method can be used by city planners to engage children in urban redevelopment Severcan 2017. Changing places, changing childhoods: Regeneration and children's use of place in Istanbul .   Access study
Natural a2areas are the most common play territories for Chinese children from different living environments
One outcome of urbanization in China is a differentiation of living environments, with most children living in either poor urban villages or higher-income residential areas.  While children in both areas prefer to play in natural spaces, the overall territoriality (a marker of place attachment) of children in residential areas was greater than that of children in urban villages.  Wang et al 2017. Create, control and have territories or secret places: A comparative study of children's play territoriality in their daily outdoor environments between Beijing's urban villages and modern residential areas    Access study
[ Contact with Nature and Health ]
Street c1trees may be more beneficial for neonatal health than other varieties of local green space
Birth records of 100,000 infants indicated that expectant mothers living in a New York City neighborhood with fewer street trees tended to have an increased chance of a preterm birth.  This research suggests that street-level vegetation is more beneficial for reducing the likelihood of preterm birth than a neighborhood's raw vegetation density. Abelt & McLafferty 2017. Green streets: Urban green and birth outcomes .   Access study
Early-life c2exposure to residential greenness was associated with lower blood pressure in young adults in Belgium
Early-life data of 278 Flemish twins were paired with their blood pressure readings as young adults and current residential greenness. After controlling for confounding variables, analysis found that only early-life residential greenness was significantly associated with healthy young adult blood pressure. |  Bijnens et al, 2017. Blood pressure in young adulthood and residential greenness in the early-life environment of twins.    Access study
Urban c3greening can promote health in the general population, but does not address socioeconomic inequities
Will urban greening promote better health equally for all people, or will some groups benefit more than others?  Related research with over 10,000 Australian children does not support the idea that urban greening can help ameliorate socioeconomic inequities in child health, but it does support urban greening as a strategy for improving the health of all children. |  Feng & Astell-Burt 2017. 
Do greener areas promote more equitable child health? 
Team of c4scholars develop a research agenda to further the evidence linking contact with nature and human health
A multidisciplinary team, after reviewing what is already known about the health benefits of contact with nature, identified seven principal domains of research and developed a research agenda to address unanswered questions. Implementing this agenda is needed to guide interventions across a wide range of settings, populations, spatial scales, and forms of nature. |  Frumkin et al, 2017. Nature contact and human health: A research agenda
Pediatricians c5and families respond positively to a prescription program promoting outdoor physical activity for children
Twenty-three physicians working with community health centers in Boston reported positive results of an intervention program linking written prescriptions for increased physical activity with free, community-based outdoor activities. Families using the program cited fun, free, local, and potential for weight loss as reasons for participating. | J ames et al, 2017. Prescribing Outdoor Play: Outdoors Rx .    Access study
Potential c6pathways linking greenspace to health are identified but more research is needed to guide policy
This report presents three pathways by which greenspace can contribute to human health: reducing harm, restoring capacities, and building capacities. It also includes a discussion of the potential challenges and opportunities of greenspace research and provides recommendations for future research efforts. | 
Markevych et al, 2017. Exploring pathways linking greenspace to health: Theoretical and methodological guidance.  
 
Increased c7exposure to green space may prove helpful in improving gestational age of newborns for women with a low level of education
A New Zealand study involving over 5000 mother-newborn pairs investigated the impact of green space exposure on birth outcomes. Overall, there were no significant differences in birth weight and gestational age for differing levels of exposure to green space, but for women with low education, increased green space exposure was linked to increased gestational ages. | 
Nichani et al, 2017. Green space and pregnancy outcomes: Evidence from Growing Up in New Zealand.  
 
Children's c8active involvement may improve the effectiveness of school gardening and other health promotion programs
Researchers in Amsterdam used observations, formal interviews, and informal conversations to better understand students' perspectives on school gardening. Children expressed feelings of achievement, satisfaction and pride in their gardening activities. Their ideas for program improvements included more independence and opportunities for experimentation. | 
Nury et al, 2017. Sowing seeds for healthier diets: Children's perspectives on school gardening.  
 
Efforts c9by schools to increase blue space exposure might increase equitable health promotion
Data from wearable cameras indicated that New Zealand children from the most deprived schools had significantly higher rates of blue space (water bodies) exposure than children from low deprivation schools.   Other variables, including household deprivation and residential proximity to the coastline, were not significantly associated with blue space exposure. | 
Pearson et al, 2017. Measuring blue space visibility and 'blue recreation' in the everyday lives of children in a capital city
.  
Lifestyle c10factors, including time outdoors, explain demographic prevalence differences in children with myopia
Ophthalmic examination results of 5711 children from the Netherlands were paired with information about children's daily activities, ethnicity, and factors representing family socioeconomic status and housing. Findings showed that children with myopia spent more time indoors and less time outdoors than children without myopia T
ideman et al, 2017. Environmental factors explain socioeconomic prevalence differences in myopia in 6-year-old children
The c11relationships between neighborhood greenness and respiratory health depend on geographic region
Over 2000 children living in two different biogeographic regions in Spain participated in a study investigating the effect of living in green or grey (non-natural) urban spaces on children's respiratory health. Findings suggest that living near green spaces may reduce or increase the risk of childhood respiratory ailments, depending on geographic region. Tischer 2017. Urban green and grey space in relation to respiratory health in children.    Access Study
 [  Outdoor and Environmental Education ] 
Regular o1classes in outdoor settings may promote students' learning, health, social development and concern for the environment
This systematic review examined 13 published studies addressing the nature and benefits of school-based outdoor education programs (OEPs). While more studies focused on learning and social outcomes than other areas of student development, overall results indicate that regular OEPs can promote students' social, academic, physical and psychological development. Becker et al, 2017. Effects of regular classes in outdoor education settings: A systematic review on students' learning, social and health dimensions.    Access Study
Participating o2in outdoor classes on a regular basis may improve children's stress responses
This study compared the stress levels of two groups of German students over a period of one school year. One group participated in regular outdoor classes; the other group did not. Stress responses were less for the outdoor-class group of students. For the indoor-class group, stress responses were similar to individuals prone to develop a stress-associated mental disorder. Dettweiler et al, 2017. Stress in school. Some empirical hints on the circadian cortisol rhythm of children in outdoor and indoor classes.    Access Study
Children's o3active involvement may improve the effectiveness of school gardening and other health promotion programs
Researchers in Amsterdam used observations, formal interviews, and informal conversations to better understand students' perspectives on school gardening. Children expressed feelings of achievement, satisfaction and pride in their gardening activities. Their ideas for program improvements included more independence and opportunities for experimentation. Nury et al, 2017. Sowing seeds for healthier diets: Children's perspectives on school gardening.   
Children's encounters o4with dead and dying bees foster more complex and deeper relationships with more-than-human others
Canadian preschool children's first-hand experience with dying bees and their real-world knowledge about the decline of the bee population inspired a caring way of relating to bees in their outdoor playspace. The children's focus shifted from relating to bees predominantly as objects of scientific knowledge towards a more caring and complex relationship. Nxumalo 2017. Stories for living on a damaged planet: Environmental education in a preschool classroom.    Access Study
Vermont elementary o5school educators find ways to effectively integrate environmental education into their practice
Teachers found a place-based approach effective in engaging students in outdoor education and in promoting ecological responsibility. They created curriculum that both aligned standards with environmental education goals and empowered students with exploration and creativity. Silverman & Corneau 2017. From nature deficit to outdoor exploration: Curriculum for sustainability in Vermont's public schools.    Access Study
 [  Pathways to Caring for the Environment ] 
Children's p1self-exposure to nature is a strong predictor of adult environmental citizenship and a lifelong commitment to nature-based activities
A combination of variables explained the connectedness to nature of a group of U.S. Forest Service employees, but "self-exposure to nature" was the strongest predictor of environmental citizenship and commitment to nature-based activities during adulthood. Less structure, then, may be more effective than adult-facilitated activities in promoting lifelong connections with nature. Asah et al, 2017.  Mechanisms of children's exposure to nature: Predicting adulthood environmental citizenship and commitment to nature-based activities.    Access Study
Life p2histories of environmentally committed adults indicate that the quantity and quality of time in nature changed throughout their lives
Interview results of twelve environmentally committed U.S. university faculty indicated that the amount of time spent in nature and the quality of time in nature changed throughout their lives.  Almost all participants talked in detail about their childhood experiences in nature, while providing much less detail about their adult nature-related experiences. 
Cagle, 2017. Changes in experiences with nature through the lives of environmentally committed university faculty
.     Access Study
Children's p3environmental subjectivities develop through a complex interplay between various aspects of their lives
Fieldwork with south Indian children revealed three dimensions of their environmental subjectivities: affective relationships, practical engagement, and knowledge. Regardless of their backgrounds, the children distinguished between two kinds of environments: their day-to-day environments and the more natural environments which were not part of their daily routines. de Hoop, 2017. Multiple environments: South Indian children's environmental subjectivities in formation.    Access Study
Taiwanese p4research is consistent with research from other countries indicating that childhood natural experiences play a critical role in developing environmental activists
Researchers used the results of "significant life experiences" (SLE) studies conducted in Taiwan to develop an "environmental action model" illustrating ways in which SLE contribute to environmental action. Joyful experiences with nature during childhood is included in the model as a fundamental factor promoting future environmental activism. Hsu 2017. Significant life experiences affect environmental action: A critical review of Taiwanese research.   
[ Social Justice ]
Urban sj1greening can promote health in the general population, but does not address socioeconomic inequities
Will urban greening promote better health equally for all people, or will some groups benefit more than others?  Related research with over 10,000 Australian children does not support the idea that urban greening can help ameliorate socioeconomic inequities in child health, but it does support urban greening as a strategy for improving the health of all children. Feng & Astell-Burt 2017. Do greener areas promote more equitable child health?    Access Study
Efforts sj2by schools to increase blue space exposure might increase equitable health promotion
Data from wearable cameras indicated that New Zealand children from the most deprived schools had significantly higher rates of blue space (water bodies) exposure than children from low deprivation schools. Other variables, including household deprivation and residential proximity to the coastline, were not significantly associated with blue space exposure. 
Pearson et al, 2017. Measuring blue space visibility and 'blue recreation' in the everyday lives of children in a capital city.
   Access Study
Natural areas sj3are the most common play territories for Chinese children from different living environments
One outcome of urbanization in China is a differentiation of living environments, with most children living in either poor urban villages or higher-income residential areas. While children in both areas prefer to play in natural spaces, the overall territoriality (a marker of place attachment) of children in residential areas was greater than that of children in urban villages. Wang et al, 2017. Create, control and have territories or secret places: A comparative study of children's play territoriality in their daily outdoor environments between Beijing's urban villages and modern residential areas.    Access Study
 [  Urban Greening and Crime Prevention ] 
Urban u1greening programs may be effective in reducing crime
This study examined the relationship between a community-based greening program and neighborhood crime in Flint, Michigan using a method referred to as "emerging hot spot analysis" (EHSA).  Findings indicated that areas with diminishing Hot Spots (high crime activity) and new Cold Spots (low crime activity) had higher greening rates. Sadler et al, 2017. Exploring the spatial-temporal relationships between a community greening program and neighborhood rates of crime.    Access Study
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