C&NN's Research Digest
  ARCHIVE        |       MARCH 2017
IN THIS ISSUE:
A curated selection of newly published research
Biophilia
>Biophilic elements in hospital playrooms support child life goals
Connectedness to Nature
>The key to enhancing connectedness with nature may be nature itself
Education
>Outdoor education improves students' engagement in and motivation for learning
>Natural outdoor classrooms promote problem-solving and ingenuity in preschool children
>Surrounding greenness and air quality significantly associated with chronic absenteeism in schools
>Children's understanding of natural world develops through direct, positive experiences with nature, supported by adults
>Direct interaction vs. webcam viewing of bees results in similar attitudes toward protecting bees, but direct interaction offers additional benefits
>Garden program promotes positive learning and behavioral outcomes for disengaged students
Environmental Attitudes & Actions 
>Positive childhood experiences in nature are associated with pro-environmental attitudes in adults, but not necessarily with pro-environmental behaviors
>Students from diverse backgrounds report a change in wilderness attitudes after a National Outdoor Leadership School experience
> Children's understanding of natural world develops through direct, positive nature experiences with nature, supported by adults
Parks and Park Prescriptions
>The Park Hop initiative increases park usage and improves physical activity behavior of children and adolescents
>Nurse practitioners can serve as catalysts in promoting healthier lifestyles through Park Prescription initiatives
>Park prescription program offers a low-cost intervention that utilizes an already-available resource to promote positive health behaviors
Pets
>Child-pet relationships share some of the same characteristics as sibling relationships
Urban Nature
>A walk in nature improves some aspects of executive function in preschoolers and elementary students more than an urban walk
The Research Library and Digest are provided with support from:
 

Dear friends,

Are you joining us for three days of inspiration, innovation and action at the Children & Nature Network International Conference, April 18-21? If so, check out our April 23 Research Track titled  Making the Case: Advancing the Evidence Base for the Children and Nature Movement. 

Practice behavioral mapping to assess the impact of green spaces and programming on children's play. Explore the evidence for nature's impact on health. And, learn about the benefits of using a multi-method approach to evaluating outcomes and impact. 

On Friday, join me and C&NN's director of communications, Laura Mylan, to develop strategies for disseminating research that spark action. See you there!

Sincerely,
Cathy Jordan, PhD, LP
Consulting Research Director 
Children & Nature Network
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  [ Biophilia ]
Biophilic elements in biophospital playrooms support child life goals
Child life specialists who rated photographs of hospital playrooms in relation to the rooms' ability to support child life goals, including helping children cope with the challenges of hospitalization, prioritized biophilic elements (elements that appeal to humans' inherent affinity for nature), appealing color and décor, and open space.  | Weinberger et al. 2017. Child life specialists' evaluation of hospital playroom design: A mixed method inquiry.   Access study
  [ Connectedness to Nature ]
The key to enhancing connectedconnectedness with nature may be nature itself
Three separate studies investigated the impact of nature-related activities on children's connectedness with nature.  One involved direct engagement with nature without reliance on the built environment; the other two did not. Only the direct engagement with nature activity resulted in significant increases in implicit connectedness with nature scores. | Bruni, 2017. Getting to know nature: Evaluating the effects of the Get to Know Program on children's connectedness to nature.   Access study
  [ Education ]
Outdoor education ed1improves students' engagement in and motivation for learning
Is outdoor education for middle school students a valuable use of school time? Teacher and student interview responses, along with observational notes, indicated that an outdoor component added depth and meaning to indoor activities. Students typically disengaged in the classroom were motivated by the outdoor experience. | James & Williams, 2017. School-based experiential outdoor education - A neglected necessity.   Access study
Natural outdoor classrooms ed2promote problem-solving and ingenuity in preschool children
This case study examined preschoolers' creativity in two natural outdoor classrooms, both based on Nature Explore Guiding Principles. Four factors promoting children's creativity in the areas of problem-solving and ingenuity were identified: (a) predictable spaces, (b) ample and consistent time, (c) open-ended materials, and (d) caring, observant adults who support creative play and learning. | Kiewra & Veselack, 2016. Playing with nature: Supporting preschoolers' creativity in natural outdoor classrooms.    Access study
Surrounding greenness ed3and air quality are significantly associated with chronic absenteeism in schools
Satellite-based measurements of greenness and air pollution around Massachusetts schools, paired with school population data, indicated that more greenness decreased absenteeism but greater air pollution increased absenteeism. These factors were almost as important in predicting chronic absenteeism as income and race. These findings support an investment in greening the landscape around schools. | MacNaughton et al. 2017. Impact of particulate matter exposure and surrounding "greenness" on chronic absenteeism in Massachusetts public schools   Access study
Children's understanding ed4of the natural world develops through direct, positive experiences with nature, supported by adult guidance
Interviews with teachers and children about preschool children's developing relationships with the natural world indicated that children's responses to nature transformed from a simple to an increasingly complex relationship over the course of the year. Teacher guidance played an important role in fostering an appreciation of nature and stewardship behaviors. | McClain & Vandermaas-Peeler, 2016. Outdoor explorations with preschoolers: An observational study of young children's developing relationship with the natural world.    Access study
Direct interaction vs. webcam ed5viewing of bees results in similar attitudes toward protecting bees, but direct interaction offers additional benefits
Two different approaches were used to increase students' appreciation of bees and decrease their fear of bees. One approach involved direct interaction; the other a webcam viewing of bees. Both approaches reduced perceived dangers and increased willingness to protect bees, but direct interaction decreased fear in the short-term and increased well-being. | Schonfelder & Bogner, 2017. How to sustainably increase students' willingness to protect pollinators.   Access study

Garden program promotes positive ed6learning and behavioral outcomes for disengaged students
This case study examined a garden-based intervention program for students from disadvantaged communities on long suspension from their home schools. Identified benefits of the program include improved well-being and health literacy, the development of personal management and social skills, active engagement in an educational environment, connecting with adults, and increased self-esteem. | Truong, Gray, & Ward, 2017. "Sowing and growing" life skills through garden-based learning to reengage disengaged youth.   Access study

 [ Environmental Attitudes & Actions ]
Positive childhood experiences ea1in nature are associated with pro-environmental attitudes in adults, but not necessarily with pro-environmental behaviors
University students completed a survey about their childhood experiences in nature and their current views of, and actions towards, the environment. Students who played in nature as children identified themselves as "lovers of nature" more than students who did not play in nature; yet as adults, they  were not more environmentally active than the others. |  Broom, 2017. Exploring the relations between childhood experiences in nature and young adults' environmental attitudes and behaviours.    Access study
Students from diverse backgrounds ea2report a change in wilderness attitudes after a National Outdoor Leadership School experience
Racial/ethnic background of scholarship and non-scholarship students differs significantly in National Outdoor Leadership (NOLS) programs, with scholarship students being primarily non-white; others almost entirely white. While both groups experienced significant positive change in wilderness attitudes after participating in the NOLS course, the scholarship students showed greater change. | Gress & Hall, 2017. Diversity in the outdoors: National Outdoor Leadership School students' attitudes about wilderness.   Access study
Children's understanding of the ea3natural world develops through direct, positive experiences with nature, supported by adult guidance
Interviews with teachers and children about preschool children's developing relationships with the natural world indicated that children's responses to nature transformed from a simple to an increasingly complex relationship over the course of the year. Teacher guidance played an important role in fostering an appreciation of nature and stewardship behaviors. | McClain & Vandermaas-Peeler, 2016. Outdoor explorations with preschoolers: An observational study of young children's developing relationship with the natural world.    Access study
Direct interaction vs. webcam ea4viewing of bees results in similar attitudes toward protecting bees, but direct interaction offers additional benefits
Two different approaches were used to increase students' appreciation of bees and decrease their fear of bees. One approach involved direct interaction; the other a webcam viewing of bees. Both approaches reduced perceived dangers and increased willingness to protect bees, but direct interaction decreased fear in the short-term and increased well-being. | Schonfelder & Bogner, 2017. How to sustainably increase students' willingness to protect pollinators.   Access study
 [ Parks & Park Prescriptions  ]
The Park Hop initiative increases park park1usage and improves the physical activity behavior of children and adolescents
In-park observations and parent surveys were used to investigate the effectiveness of a health-promotion initiative involving multi-agency collaboration. Results indicated that the program was effective in increasing park usage, park discovery, perceptions of parks, and the proportion of time children and adolescents spend in physical activity during park visits. |  Fair et al. 2017. An initiative to facilitate park usage, discovery, and physical activity among children and adolescents in Greenville County, South Carolina, 2014.   Access study
Nurse practitioners can serve as park2catalysts in promoting healthier lifestyles through Park Prescription initiatives
Park Prescription (Park Rx) programs encourage the use of existing public outdoor space (such as trails and parks) as a health-improvement measure. This essay offers specific ideas on how nurse practitioners can play a role in implementing a Park Rx program and thus contribute to healthier lifestyles for individuals and groups in their communities. |  Wessell, 2017. Shifting gears: Engaging nurse practitioners in prescribing time outdoors.   Access Study
Park prescription program offers park3a low-cost intervention that utilizes an 
already-available resource to promote positive health behaviors
This paper describes the development and evaluation of the DC Park Rx program for low-income residents in Washington, DC. In addition to a written prescription for more outside physical activity, participating families were also given descriptions of parks in their neighborhoods. Evaluation results indicated that the program had a positive impact on the physical activity of participating families. | Zarr, Cottrell, & Merrill, 2017. Park prescription (DC Park Rx): A new strategy to combat chronic disease in children.  Access Study
 [ Pets ]
Child-pet relationships share some of the petssame characteristics as sibling relationships

Children and their mothers completed a pet adaptation of the Network of Relationships Inventory (NRI) along with other measures of the child-pet relationship. Results indicate that pets can positively influence young adolescents' social and emotional development and that child-pet relationships share some of the same characteristics as human sibling relationships. |  Cassells et al. 2017. One of the family? Measuring young adolescents' relationships with pets and siblings Access study
 [ Urban Nature  ]
A walk in nature improves some urbanaspects of executive function in preschoolers and elementary students more than an urban walk
This study assessed children's executive functioning after two different walk experiences: one, 
a walk along an urban street; the other a walk in a park-like setting. Prior to each of the walks, 
the children completed an activity designed to fatigue attention. In post-walk assessments, the children performed better on an attention task following the nature walk than the urban walk. |  Schutte, Torquati, & Beattie, 2017. Impact of urban nature on executive functioning in early and middle childhood.   Access study
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