C&NN's Research Digest
  ARCHIVE        |       JULY  2017
IN THIS ISSUE:
A curated selection of newly published research
Early Childhood Development
>Perspective-taking may enhance concern for the environment
>Preschool children show an emerging sensitivity to biocentric intentions
>Outdoor time during the early years may support development of attention skills and protect against inattention-hyperactivity symptoms
Education
>Place-based education could be enhanced by rethinking the rural/urban divide and extending beyond students' own locality
>Outdoor adventure education linked to school curriculum promotes noncognitive competencies among adolescent girls
Environmental Concern/Conservation
>Perspective-taking may enhance concern for the environment
>Preschool children show an emerging sensitivity to biocentric intentions
>Children's deep emotional connection with nature generates a strongly protective disposition
Gardens
>Gardens are valued for the ecosystem services they provide in promoting human health and well-being
Nature Connectedness
>Engagement with nature influences children's social and emotional well-being
Nature Therapy / Equine-Assisted Therapy
>Nature Therapy broadens the therapist-client relationship by introducing nature as a third factor
>Nature-based child-centered play therapy may increase on-task behaviors and decrease behavior problems
>Equine-assisted therapy may promote positive emotional/behavioral changes in children with emotional and behavioral difficulties
Pets
>Pet care and attachment can benefit both children and animals
Physical Health
>Protecting child respiratory health may be more effective by expanding green space to buffer air pollution than to reduce stress-related perceived safety 
Physical Activity
>Taking preferred outdoor physical activities into account in programming, including those in natural environments, may help promote the physical and mental health of adolescents
Social Justice
>Engagement with nature influences children's social and emotional well-being
>Nature-related, culturally-relevant art activities provide an avenue for children's active participation in urban communities
>High-income and white people have access to significantly more acres of parks per youth, and higher quality and safer parks, than other groups
>Current neighborhood walkability research falls short in addressing diverse ages and abilities
Urban Planning and Initiatives
>Nature-related, culturally-relevant art activities provide an avenue for children's active participation in urban communities
>The largest benefits of reducing global climate change may be attained when global and local initiatives are implemented together
>Protecting child respiratory health may be more effective by expanding green space to buffer air pollution than to reduce stress-related perceived safety 
>Taking preferred outdoor physical activities into account in programming, including those in natural environments, may help promote the physical and mental health of adolescents
>High-income and white people have access to significantly more acres of parks per youth, and higher quality and safer parks, than other groups
>Current neighborhood walkability research falls short in addressing diverse ages and abilities
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Consulting Research Director 
Children & Nature NetworK
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Group of Diverse Kids Learning Environment Together

[ Early Childhood Development ]
Perspective-taking ec1may enhance concern for the environment
Paired studies investigated if preschoolers view the environment as a moral concern.  An activity that asked children to take the perspective of a victim or perpetrator of environmental harm demonstrated that taking the perspective of the victim increased children's environmental concern. This research suggests that perspective-taking activities may be effective in promoting concern for the environment Hahn & Garrett, 2017. Preschoolers' moral judgments of environmental harm and the influence of perspective taking .   Access study
Preschool children ec2show an emerging sensitivity to biocentric intentions
This experimental study assessed five-year-olds' choices between an anthropocentric (human centered) and biocentric (nature centered) orientation in judging human actions affecting the natural environment. Children's responses to questions about the behavior of fictional characters indicated an emerging sensitivity to biocentric intentions. Margoni & Surian, 2017. The emergence of sensitivity to biocentric intentions in preschool children    Access study
Outdoor time ec3during the early years may support development of attention skills and protect against inattention-hyperactivity symptoms
A group of 562 Norwegian children were followed over a four-year period to study possible links between time outdoors during preschool and cognitive and behavioral development. From age 4 until around age 7, children with high levels of outdoor time during daycare scored consistently higher on cognitive measures and showed fewer attention problems than children with low levels of outdoor time. | 
Ulset et al, 2017. Time spent outdoors during preschool: Links with children's cognitive and behavioral development.
   
[ Education ]
Place-based ed1education could be enhanced by rethinking the rural/urban divide and extending beyond students' own locality
Letters written by correspondence school students almost a century ago suggest a place attachment to and desire to learn about the urban locales of their teachers as well as their local rural areas. Present day educators could enhance students' environmental learning by looking beyond their own locality to build place attachment. Diaz-Diaz, 2017. Going back and beyond: Children's learning through places .   Access study
Outdoor ed2adventure education linked to school curriculum promotes noncognitive competencies among adolescent girls
Outdoor adventure education (OAE) research is primarily limited to stand-alone versus school-related OAE programs. This study investigated the effectiveness and value of multiple extended OAE experiences linked to the school's curriculum. Results showed stronger social connections, self-efficacy in leadership, and overall reappraisal of individual and group identities among adolescent girls. |  Richmond et al, 2017. Complementing classroom learning through outdoor adventure education: Out-of-school-time experiences that make a difference.    Access study
[Environmental Concern/Conservation]
Perspective-taking ecc1may enhance concern for the environment
Paired studies investigated if preschoolers view the environment as a moral concern. An activity that asked children to take the perspective of a victim or perpetrator of environmental harm demonstrated that taking the perspective of the victim increased children's environmental concern. This research suggests that perspective-taking activities may be effective in promoting concern for the environment.  | 
Hahn & Garrett, 2017. Preschoolers' moral judgments of environmental harm and the influence of perspective taking.  
Preschool children ecc2show an emerging sensitivity to biocentric intentions
This experimental study assessed five-year-olds' choices between an anthropocentric (human centered) and biocentric (nature centered) orientation in judging human actions affecting the natural environment. Children's responses to questions about the behavior of fictional characters indicated an emerging sensitivity to biocentric intentions. | 
Margoni & Surian, 2017. The emergence of sensitivity to biocentric intentions in preschool children. 
Children's deep ecc3emotional connection with nature generates a strongly protective disposition
Children from four Portuguese schools representing different environmental approaches shared views of nature and learning about nature through interviews and follow-up drawings. Children expressed strong protective feelings about nature and that learning with families involved mainly action and caring about nature while environmental learning in schools focused more on cognitive dimensions of learning. |  Rios & Menezes, 2017. 'I saw a magical garden with flowers that people could not damage!': Children's visions of nature and of learning about nature in and out of school.    Access study
 [ Gag1rdens  ]
Gardens are valued for the ecosystem services they provide in promoting human health and well-being
Over 100 adults in North Cyprus participated in a study focusing on the benefits of their home gardens. The benefits they identified included feelings related to a "sense of belonging" and a "sense of place," social connections with family and community, improved mental and physical health, and individual development in such areas as creativity and spirituality. | Ciftcioglu, 2017. Social preference-based valuation of the links between home gardens, ecosystem services, and human well-being in Lefke Region of North Cyprus.  Access Study
 [ Nature nc1Connectedness  ]
Engagement with nature influences children's social and emotional well-being
Children from three socio-economically diverse communities shared their perceptions of nature and how it impacted them. Their ideas about nature and concerns about safety and pollution differed according to the communities in which they lived. All three groups associated exploring and learning in nature with feelings of happiness and the strengthening of social bonds. Adams & Savahl, 2017. Children's discourses of natural spaces: Considerations for children's subjective well-being.  Access Study 
 [Nature Therapy/Equine-Assisted Therapy ]
Nature Therapy hors1broadens the therapist-client relationship by introducing nature as a third factor
Nature Therapy takes place in nature and perceives nature as a partner in the healing process. "Safe Place" -- a nature therapy program for children -- worked with over 12,000 kindergarten and school-age students after the second Lebanon war. Arts and stewardship activities were incorporated into the program to help children experience caring for the environment as a part of their healing process. Berger, 2017. Nature Therapy: Incorporating nature into arts therapy.   
Nature-based hors2child-centered play therapy may increase on-task behaviors and decrease behavior problems
This experimental study compared school-based behaviors of children participating in a nature-based therapy program with children on a wait-list. Assessments conducted before, during, and after the program provide initial support for using nature-based therapy with children to address behavioral concerns which may impede learning. | Swank et al, 2017. Nature-based child-centered play therapy and behavioral concerns: A single-case design.   Access Study
Equine-assisted hors3therapy may promote positive emotional/behavioral changes in children with emotional and behavioral difficulties
Five therapeutic groups were included in a study on the effectiveness of equine-assisted therapy in promoting the well-being of children exposed to problematic parental substance use. Pre/post measures completed by parents indicated a significant decrease in children's difficult behavior and their emotional problems. | Tsantefski et al, 2017. An open trial of equine-assisted therapy for children exposed to problematic parental substance use.     Access Study
[ Pets  ]pets
Pet care and attachment can benefit both children and animals
Survey responses from over 1000 Scottish children indicate that caring for pets seems to foster child-pet attachment. Pet attachment, in turn, was associated with positive attitudes towards animals, as well as reduced aggression, a stronger sense of well-being, and improved quality of life. Empathy towards animals may generalize to human-directed empathy. 
Hawkins & Williams, 2017. Childhood attachment to pets: Associations between pet attachment, attitudes to animals, compassion, and humane behavior.
 
Access Study
 [ Physical Health  ]
Protecting pa1child respiratory health may be more effective by expanding green space to buffer air pollution than to reduce stress-related perceived safety
Heavy traffic volume is a health and safety concern of many urban parents. Data from over 4,000 Australian children found that greater quantities of nearby green space may be protective against child asthma by modifying the effect of heavy traffic near a child's home. No association was found between stressful perceived neighborhood safety issues and asthma risk. |  Feng & Astell-Burt, 2017. Is neighborhood green space protective against associations between child asthma, neighborhood traffic volume and perceived lack of area safety? Multilevel analysis of 4447 Australian children.   Access study 
 [ Physical Activity ]
Taking preferred pa2outdoor physical activities into account in programming, including those in natural environments, may help promote the physical and mental health of adolescents
This study involving over 1000 youth indicates that an agreement between what is preferred and what is undertaken for physical activity (PA) increases the chances of adolescents meeting PA recommendations and achieving greater well-being. The natural environment promoted adolescents meeting the recommended level of PA. | 
Fromel et al, 2017. Healthy lifestyle and well-being in adolescents through outdoor physical activity. 
 [ Social Justice  ]
Engagement with sj1nature influences children's social and emotional well-being
Children from three socio-economically diverse communities shared their perceptions of nature and how it impacted them. Their ideas about nature and concerns about safety and pollution differed according to the communities in which they lived. All three groups associated exploring and learning in nature with feelings of happiness and the strengthening of social bonds. | 
Adams & Savahl, 2017. Children's discourses of natural spaces: Considerations for children's subjective well-being.
    Access study
Nature-related, sj2culturally-relevant art activities provide an avenue for children's active participation in urban communities
Young people, preschool through high school, actively participated in urban initiatives focusing on democracy, environmental justice, and cultural inclusion. The initiatives had different objectives, processes, and outcomes, but each incorporated nature and the arts as a medium for giving voice to children as valued members of their communities. |  Derr, 2017. Participation as a supportive framework for cultural inclusion and environmental justice.    Access study
High-income and white sj3people have access to significantly more acres of parks per youth, and higher quality and safer parks, than other groups
Research indicates that disparities in park provision are a part of broader discriminations against people of color. This study looked specifically at how this applies to Denver and found that while park proximity offers slight advantage to low-income and ethnic minority groups, significant inequities favor white and high-income groups in relation to larger, safer, and higher quality parks. |  Rigolon, 2017. Parks and young people: An environmental justice study of park proximity, acreage, and quality in Denver, Colorado.   Access study
Current neighborhood walkability sj4research falls short in addressing diverse ages and abilities
A literature review of neighborhood walkability indicates a lack of research on walkability-related influences other than distance. Findings highlight the need for an integrated research approach, inclusive of people with a range of abilities, ages, and impairments, to inform policy relating to walkable neighborhoods that are socially and spatially just for everyone. |  Stafford & Baldwin, 2017. Planning walkable neighborhoods: Are we overlooking diversity in abilities and ages?   Access study
 [ Urban Planning & Initiatives  ]
Nature-related, up1culturally-relevant art activities provide an avenue for children's active participation in urban communities
Young people, preschool through high school, actively participated in urban initiatives focusing on democracy, environmental justice, and cultural inclusion. The initiatives had different objectives, processes, and outcomes, but each incorporated nature and the arts as a medium for giving voice to children as valued members of their communities.  
Derr, 2017. Participation as a supportive framework for cultural inclusion and environmental justice
The largest benefits up2of reducing global climate change may be attained when global and local initiatives are implemented together
Due to the urban heat island (UHI) effect, large cities will be negatively impacted by global warming more than other areas. Steps cities can take to lessen the UHI effect are usually easier to implement and result in more immediate benefits than global efforts. When global and local efforts are combined, however, the outcomes are likely to be greater than the sum of the parts. | 
Estrada, Botzen, & Tol, 2017. A global economic assessment of city policies to reduce climate change impacts
.
 Access study 
Protecting child respiratory up3health may be more effective by expanding green space to buffer air pollution than to reduce stress-related perceived safety
Heavy traffic volume is a health and safety concern of many urban parents. Data from over 4,000 Australian children found that greater quantities of nearby green space may be protective against child asthma by modifying the effect of heavy traffic near a child's home. No association was found between stressful perceived neighborhood safety issues and asthma risk. | 
Feng & Astell-Burt, 2017. Is neighborhood green space protective against associations between child asthma, neighborhood traffic volume and perceived lack of area safety? Multilevel analysis of 4447 Australian children
Taking preferred up4outdoor physical activities into account in programming, including those in natural environments, may help promote the physical and mental health of adolescents
This study involving over 1000 youth indicates that an agreement between what is preferred and what is undertaken for physical activity (PA) increases the chances of adolescents meeting PA recommendations and achieving greater well-being. The natural environment promoted adolescents meeting the recommended level of PA. | 
Fromel et al, 2017. Healthy lifestyle and well-being in adolescents through outdoor physical activity.
 
  Access study
High-income and up5white people have access to significantly more acres of parks per youth, and higher quality and safer parks, than other groups 
Research indicates that disparities in park provision are a part of broader discriminations against people of color. This study looked specifically at how this applies to Denver and found that while park proximity offers slight advantage to low-income and ethnic minority groups, significant inequities favor white and high-income groups in relation to larger, safer, and higher quality parks. | 
Rigolon, 2017. Parks and young people: An environmental justice study of park proximity, acreage, and quality in Denver, Colorado.
  Access study
Current neighborhood up6walkability research falls short in addressing diverse ages and abilities
A literature review of neighborhood walkability indicates a lack of research on walkability-related influences other than distance. Findings highlight the need for an integrated research approach, inclusive of people with a range of abilities, ages, and impairments, to inform policy relating to walkable neighborhoods that are socially and spatially just for everyone. | 
Stafford & Baldwin, 2017. Planning walkable neighborhoods: Are we overlooking diversity in abilities and ages? 
  Access study
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