C&NN's Research Digest

OCTOBER 2016  

Education for Sustainability
Mental Health
Physical Activity
Social Justice
with Nature
of the Research Digest are archived in our Research Library.

The 2017 Children & Nature International
will feature a track 
on advancing the evidence base for children and nature.    
Tell us what you think!

We hope you enjoyed last month's inaugural issue of the
Research Digest, highlighting  the latest peer-reviewed scientific literature relevant to the children and nature movement. We hope you've also had to time to explore our  upgraded Research Library,  containing 400+ studies curated to help you make the case for increased nature connections for children, families and communities.
Each month, the Research Digest will alert you to additions to our Research Library. You are receiving  the Digest because you attended our 2016 conference -- or because you belong to one of our mailing lists. 
(You may unsubscribe at any time with the SafeUnsubscribeâ„¢ option at the bottom of the Digest.)

Please tell us what you think about the Research Library and Digest so that we can continue to improve our efforts to advance the evidence base for children and nature.

Best Regards,
Cathy Jordan
Consulting Research Director 
Children & Nature Network
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[ Education ]
Children's cognitive functioning supported by plant-covered walls
Students in classrooms with a "green wall" scored better on selective attention measures and rated their classrooms as more attractive than children in classrooms without a green wall.
| van den Berg et al. Green walls for a restorative classroom environment: A controlled evaluation study
Equine facilitated therapy promotes social-emotional competence of at-risk students
Case study involving eleven students demonstrates the effectiveness of equine facilitated learning for promoting resilience, social-emotional competence, and engagement with school in students at risk of school failure. |  Saggers & Strachan. Horsing around: Using equine facilitated learning to support the development of social-emotional competence of students at risk of school failure
Reading-related skills and attitudes fostered through dog-therapy program
Kindergarten students participating in a therapy dog program had higher end-of-the-year reading scores than the prior year's scores used as a control group.   Other positive results included increased confidence, self-esteem, and interest in reading. |  Kirnan, Siminerio, & Wong. The impact of a therapy dog program on children's reading skills and attitudes toward reading
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 [ Education for Sustainability]
Environmental sustainability education deemed possible and fruitful with young children
Data collected before and after an environmental learning activity indicated a shift in young children's thinking about individual elements in nature to recognizing connections and interactions in the natural world. |  Madden & Liang. Young children's ideas about environment: Perspectives from three early childhood educational settings
 [ Mental Health ]
Childhood nature exposure predicts adult mental well-being through its relationship with current nature exposure 
A cross-cultural study suggests that childhood nature exposure is related to adult mental well-being to the extent that it fosters adult nature exposure. |  Pensini, Horn, & Caltabiano. An exploration of the relationships between adults' childhood and current nature exposure and their mental well-being
Spending time in an outdoor setting with natural elements enhanced concentration and positive affect more than spending time in the indoor setting. Being with a friend increased positive affect more than being alone. |  Greenwood & Gatersleben.  Let's go outside! Environmental restoration amongst adolescents and the impact of friends and phones   
 [ Physical Activity ]
''Fun'' identified by Hispanic immigrant children as primary driver of physical activity 

First- and second-generation Hispanic children, considered to be at an increased risk of obesity, shared perspectives on what they considered facilitators and barriers to physical activity. |  Taverno Ross & Francis. Physical activity perceptions, context, barriers, and facilitators from a Hispanic child's perspective
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An examination of the extent to which neighborhood contexts influence individual-level physical activity among youth supports health promotion strategies that use tailored approaches to modifying neighborhood environments. | Kowaleski-Jones et al.  Neighborhood context and youth physical activity: Differential associations by gender and age
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This research summary presents the case for adding natural features to school environments as a strategy for promoting physical activity. |  Sharma-Brymer & Bland. Bringing nature to schools to promote children's physical activity
 [ Social Justice ]
Equitable science instruction increases minority students' science knowledge and interest

A place-based, environmentally-focused program for elementary minority students was found to be effective in increasing their interest and competence in science. |  Leonard et al. Social justice, place, and equitable science education: Broadening urban students' opportunities to learn
Black youth identify unequal exposure to environmental hazards and amenities confirmed by mapping

Responses to in-depth interviews indicated that urban black youth were more concerned about threats in their immediate physical environment than pollution and exposure to toxins. Though not focused on green space, the findings have implications for opportunities for safe outdoor activity. | Teixiera & Zuberi. Mapping the racial inequality in place: Using youth perceptions to identify unequal exposure to neighborhood environmental hazards  
An environmental justice framework motivates youth involvement in climate change action 

College-age youth from six different countries who participated in an environmental justice workshop experienced a significant personal transformation in how they relate to environmental issues and how they perceive themselves as agents of change. |  Riemer et al. The Youth Leading Environmental Change project: A mixed-method longitudinal study across six countries
 [ Engagement with Nature ]
Urban allotment gardens valued as safe natural places for children 

Families' primary reasons for holding an allotment garden include having a safe outdoor place for their children, growing their own fruits and vegetables, and having access to nature. |  Nordh et al. Norwegian allotment gardens - a study of motives and benefits
Study protocol developed for the design and evaluation of a park prescription program
A randomized controlled trial design will examine two levels of intensity in behavioral counseling about the health benefits of nature. |  Razani et al. Design and evaluation of a park prescription program for stress reduction and health promotion in low-income families: The Stay Healthy in Nature Everyday (SHINE) study protocol
 [ Play ]
Nature in early childhood gains momentum after an uneven past
This research summary focuses on the history of nature in early childhood and concludes with a discussion of some current initiatives linking young children with nature. |  Brown & Kaye. Where do the children play?: An investigation of the intersection of nature, early childhood education and play
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