C&NN's Research Digest

DECEMBER 2016  

IN THIS ISSUE:
Nature Connectedness
>Childhood experiences with nature influence adult connectedness to nature

>Nature connectedness is important for well-being

>Connections to nature are stronger in greener neighborhoods
Design & Planning
Conservation and Environmental Identity

Green Schoolyards
Health Benefits
Physical Activity
Social Justice

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of the Research Digest are archived in our Research Library

 ________________

The 2017 Children & Nature International
Conference 
will feature a track 
on advancing the evidence base for children and nature.    
Seasons Greetings!

Thank you for being part of an international community that cares about the health and well-being of children. Like you, we believe that one of the best gifts we can give kids is access to the many benefits of nature, as indicated by a growing body of research.

As we head into the new year, we'd love to hear what you think of our Research Digest and free, searchable Library, which now holds nearly 500 peer-reviewed studies curated to help make the case for increased nature connections.   

Happiest of holidays.
Cathy Jordan
Consulting Research Director 
Children & Nature Network

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[ Nature Connectedness ]
Childhood experiences NC1with nature influence adult connectedness to nature
Responses from over 4000 adults to questions about their visits to natural areas, their childhood nature-related experiences, and their connectedness to nature highlight the importance of providing green spaces where young people live. |  Colléony et al. What kind of landscape management can counteract the extinction of experience?   Access Study
Nature connectednessNC2is important for human well-being
All nine adults interviewed for this study indicated that as children they played in a healthy natural environment. Most of them said that interaction with the natural environment played a significant role in their physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. |  Ferreira & Venter. The interconnectedn
ess between well-being and the natural environment.  
Access study
Connections to nature NC3are stronger in greener neighborhoods
This study explored possible connections between city dwellers' experience and orientation towards nature and the availability of nature in their urban environment. Findings support adding more vegetation to nature-poor neighborhoods to promote connectedness to nature. |  Shanahan et al. Variation in experiences of nature across gradients of tree cover in compact and sprawling cities.   Access study
 [ Design & Planning ]
Community participation is DP1crucial in developing green child-friendly spaces in developing countries
This case study describes how a poor rural community in South Africa found a way to translate international theory and best practices to fit the unique characteristics and constraints of the local environment in planning child-friendly green spaces. 
Cilliers & Cornelius. An approach towards the planning of green child-friendly spaces in South Africa.   Access study
Childhood experiences with DP2nature influence adult connectedness to nature
Responses from over 4000 adults to questions about their visits to natural areas, their childhood nature-related experiences, and their connectedness to nature highlight the importance of providing green spaces where young people live. |  Colléony et al. What kind of landscape management can counteract the extinction of experience?   Access study
Individual and community DP3factors influence the use of urban green space
A study in the Metropolitan Area of Santiago on perceptions and preferences impacting the use of green space in urban environments provides guidance on how to improve the planning and design of public green space to meet the needs of all residents. | de la Berrera et al. People's perception influences on the use of green spaces in socio-economically differentiated neighborhoods.  Access study
More appropriate scientific DP4measurements are needed for developing healthy urban neighborhoods
This paper reviews measurements used in determining access to urban nature and related health benefits. The authors conclude that a more functionally-oriented approach is needed for effectively planning healthy urban environments. | Ekkel & DeVries. Nearby green space and human health: Evaluating accessibility metrics.  Access study
Children from different DP5districts and backgrounds hold similar views about what makes a Child Friendly City
Children participating in this study indicated that they expect a Child Friendly Environment to be green, spacious, clean and well-kept. | Gokmen & Tasci. Children's views about Child Friendly City: A case study from Izmir.   Access study
Tree removal in urban DP6neighborhoods is associated with more crime
This study investigated the association between the loss of trees in Cincinnati due to the infestation of the emerald ash borer and crime incidence. There was an increase in crime on city blocks with ash tree removals while crime rates did not increase in city blocks without ash tree removals. |  Kondo et al. The association between urban trees and crime: Evidence from the spread of the emerald ash borer in Cincinnati.    Access study
"Affordances" should be considered in DP7planning outdoor playspaces
Observation of preschool children during free play in two different outdoor environments with special attention to the possibilities of meaningful action afforded by the environment suggest that the concept of "affordances" is important in planning outdoor playspaces. However, some clarification of the concept is needed. |  Lerstrup & van den Bosch. Affordances of outdoor settings for children in preschool: Revisiting Heft's functional taxonomy.   Access Study
Laypersons and experts share same DP8and different understandings about how urban green space should be used
Researchers interviewed both laypersons and urban planning experts regarding the benefits and uses of urban green space. Both groups expressed concern about the increasing alienation from nature, especially for children. While experts focus on the practical value of green space, laypersons focus on emotional connection. These factors should be considered in the management of urban green spaces. | Riechers, Noack, & Tscharntke. Experts' versus laypersons' perception of urban cultural ecosystem services.     Access study
Young children's engagement with DP9nature promotes caring for the environment
This literature review explored how preschools can be used to nurture environmental stewards among Malaysian children. The researchers offer recommendations on how to manipulate landscape elements to maximize children's interaction with nature. | Shaari, Ahmad, & Ismail. Nurturing environmental stewards through preschool physical design.  Access study
Connections to nature are stronger DP10in greener neighborhoods
This study explored possible connections between city dwellers' experience and orientation towards nature and the availability of nature in their urban environment. Findings support adding more vegetation to nature-poor neighborhoods to promote connectedness to nature. | Shanahan et al. Variation in experiences of nature across gradients of tree cover in compact and sprawling cities.  Access study
 [ Conservation & Environmental Identity ]
Personal experiences with natureCEI1 influence environmental identity
Surveys of undergraduates suggest environmental identity is strongly influenced by personal experiences of nature and social context and that one's choice of academic studies is more a result than a cause for high environmental identity. | Prévot, Clayton & Mathevet. The relationship of childhood upbringing and university degree program to environmental identity: Experience in nature matters.  Access study
Young children's engagement with CEI2nature promotes caring for the environment
This literature review explored how preschools can be used to nurture environmental stewards among Malaysian children. The researchers offer recommendations on how to manipulate landscape elements to maximize children's interaction with nature. |  Shaari, Ahmad, & Ismail. Nurturing environmental stewards through preschool physical design .   Access study
 [ Green Schoolyards ]
School grounds can be a GS1resource for increasing child-plant contact
In the context of decreasing availability of green open spaces in urban communities and school grounds with limited vegetation, this study demonstrated that students and teachers knew very little about the plants on the school grounds but were interested in using plants to support the curriculum and enhance the school environment. |  Akoumianaki-Ioannidou, Paraskevopoulou, & Tachou. School grounds as a resource of green space to increase child-plant contact.   Access study
 [ Health Benefits ]
Pediatric primary care providers issue HB1nature prescriptions regardless of their own personal connections with nature
A pilot study was conducted to examine if the use of a written nature prescription would encourage children to get out in nature. Twenty-four primary care providers issued a combined total of 1935 written nature prescriptions, with their own nature-relatedness not influencing the number of prescriptions issued.  13% of the prescriptions were "filled." | Coffey & Lindsey. When pediatric primary care providers prescribe nature engagement at a state park, do children "fill" the prescription?    Access study
Researchers offer recommendations for HB2enhancing an understanding of nature's restoration benefits for children
A review of research findings about restoration in typically-developing children and children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder leads to five areas for further investigation, along with several recommendations for how such studies might be conducted. | Collado & Staats. Contact with nature and children's restorative experiences: An eye to the future.     Access study
Children and adults provide insights into HB3how nature-related health benefits are       co-constructed
Researchers investigate the qualities that people attribute to the environmental space of a specific region and the cultural practices conducted and enabled within this region. The services and benefits people experience while engaged with the natural environment do not simply arise from ecosystems but are co-constructed through the interaction between people and their environments. | Fish et al. Making space for cultural ecosystem services: Insights from a study of the UK nature improvement initiative.   Access study
Nature connectedness is important HB4for human well-being
All nine adults interviewed for this study indicated that as children they played in a healthy natural environment. Most of them said that interaction with the natural environment played a significant role in their physical, emotional and psychological well-being. | Ferreira & Venter. The interconnectedness between well-being and the natural environment.   Access study
Increased gardening opportunities HB5could improve public health
Data from 22 case studies on the benefits of gardening found a wide range of health outcomes, including reductions in depression and anxiety and improved physical activity, body mass index, cognitive function, life satisfaction, quality of life, and sense of community. |  Soga, Gaston, & Yamaurac. Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis .     Access study
 [ Physical Activity  ]
Children are significantly less physically PA1active during preschool/childcare hours than outside care hours
This study measured children's activity levels during and outside of childcare hours and investigated the centers' physical, organizational and policy factors potentially influencing physical activity. Children were less active when at childcare. Future research should explore potential influences including the social, cultural and policy contexts within which centers operate. | Hinkley et al. Preschool and childcare center characteristics associated with children's physical activity during care hours: An observational study.   Access study
Children are more likely to be physically active PA2when parks and other types of recreation areas are available 
Surveys of over 3000 parents indicated that almost two thirds of their children spend less than an hour a day being physically active, but are more active when outdoor recreation areas are available.
Zaltauskė & Petrauskienė. Associations between built environment and physical activity of 7-8-year-old children. Cross-sectional results from the Lithuanian COSI study
.   Access study
 [ Social Justice  ]
Individual and community factors SJ1influence the use of urban green space 
A study in the Metropolitan Area of Santiago on perceptions and preferences impacting the use of green space in urban environments provides guidance on how to improve the planning and design of public green space to meet the needs of all residents. | de la Berrera et al. People's perception influences on the use of green spaces in socio-economically differentiated neighborhoods.  
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