SEPTEMBER  2017 
C&NN's Research Digest
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[ ARCHIVE ]
IN THIS ISSUE:
A curated selection of newly published research
Conservation / Pro-Environmental Attitudes & Behaviors
>Appreciating the psychological benefits of exposure to nature may prompt pro-environmental behavior
>In the context of forest school pedagogy, post humanism and the common worlds framework suggest that children's learning is about, through and with elements of the forest
>Early childhood education for sustainability can benefit from earlier pedagogical traditions focusing on connectivity, care, and crossing boundaries
Design, Planning & Policy
>Improving the quantity and quality of green space could play a significant and positive social role in deprived neighborhoods
>Public natural spaces become increasingly important as developing countries urbanize
>Private green space may be more beneficial than neighborhood natural space for 4-6 year olds
Early Childhood
>In the context of forest school pedagogy, post humanism and the common worlds framework suggest that children's learning is about, through and with elements of the forest
>Outdoor activities may be more effective in promoting early child development than indoor activities
>Preschoolers' sociodramatic play is more complex in a naturalized versus traditional outdoor playspace
>Private green space may be more beneficial than neighborhood natural space for 4-6 year olds
>Time for outdoor play at school is highly valued by young children in different cultural and geographical contexts
>Early childhood education for sustainability can benefit from earlier pedagogical traditions focusing on connectivity, care, and crossing boundaries
Nature Therapy
>Surfing with psychotherapeutic intervention can promote personal and social skills in at-risk young people
Pets
>Young children develop strong relationships with pets behaviorally similar to humans; older children's pet attachments include other pet species
>The health benefits of dogs and cats for children are not supported in a large population-based study
Pathways to Benefits Nature
>Benefits of nature to humans are delivered through both sensory and non-sensory pathways
School Gardens
>School garden program in Nepal raised awareness of, knowledge of and preferences for, but not consumption of, fruit and vegetables 
Self-Regulation
>Children may need more than brief exposures to nature to support self-regulation capacities
Social Justice
>Improving the quantity and quality of green space could play a significant and positive social role in deprived neighborhoods


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Dear friends,

Throughout September, we've been celebrating the one-year anniversary of our Research Digest and enhanced Research Library. Since we wrote to you in August, we've surpassed the 600 mark for summarized, searchable articles in our collection -- and we'll add more each month to bring you the latest peer-reviewed research on nature connection.

As we've stated before, most of the studies we curate are behind firewalls, making them expensive and unavailable to many practitioners, educators, parents and those outside academic circles. With your help, we will continue to make this critical research available, free of charge, to all those working to make the case for children and nature.

This is our final first anniversary fundraising appeal. If you find our Research Library and this Digest valuable, please consider making a gift today.

With gratitude,
Cathy Jordan, PhD, LP
Consulting Research Director 
Children & Nature NetworK
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Last chance!  Make your gift by 10:00pm EST on September 30 to be entered into a drawing for a set of commemorative Kleen Kanteen ®  stainless steel camping cups -- and a copy of   Coming of Age at the End of Nature: A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet a powerful anthology that gathers the voices of the "climate change generation," including an essay by our own  Natural Leaders  lead organizer, CJ Goulding. 

Gifts of any size will help us continue to support all those working to make sure that children and communities have equitable access to the benefits of nature.

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[
Conservation/Pro-Environmental Attitudes & Behaviors ]
Appreciating c1the psychological benefits of exposure to nature may prompt pro-environmental behavior
Scholars drawing from research on Attention Restoration Theory propose a pathway to pro-environmental behavior where perceived restorativeness serves as a source of motivation.  This pathway is based on the premise that people who see the natural environment as a source of restoration are more likely to behave pro-environmentally. |  Berto & Barbiero, 2017. How the psychological benefits associated with exposure to nature can affect pro-environmental behavior .   Access study
In the c2context of forest school pedagogy, post humanism and the common worlds framework suggest that children's learning is about, through and with elements of the forest
"Matter matters to children" is a theme framing the discussion in this theoretical paper about children's relationship with the natural world. The stick is used as an example of how matter can be an agentic force acting relationally with children's play and stories. The discussion reflects a "common worlds" perspective which extends subjectivities beyond the human species. | Harwood & Collier, 2017. The matter of the stick: Storying/ (re)storying children's literacies in the forest.      Access study
Early c3childhood education for sustainability can benefit from earlier pedagogical traditions focusing on connectivity, care, and crossing boundaries
This theoretical paper argues for a re-design of early childhood education to build on and strengthen children's innate relational way of being in the world. The current system reinforces human dominance over the environment. A "sustainability by default" approach emphasizes relationality, sense of place, belonging, empathy and care.  Wals, 2017. Sustainability by default: Co-creating care and relationality through early childhood education. 
[ Design, Planning & Policy ]
Improving d1the quantity and quality of green space could play a significant and positive social role in deprived neighborhoods
This research found that people in deprived neighborhoods in Korea have less access to green space than those in other areas. Based on resident feedback, researchers outline five characteristics of green space needed to promote the active use of green space and the health of residents in the deprived neighborhoods. Children were especially interested in green space as a place to be with friends. Lee, Gu, & An, 2017. Residents' perception and use of green space: Results from a mixed methods study in a deprived neighbourhood in Korea .   Access study
Public d2natural spaces become increasingly important as developing countries urbanize
Over 350 adults and more than 400 children in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia completed questionnaires about their childhood experiences with nature. Findings raised concerns about how the loss of natural areas and an increase in population density may accelerate the decline in nature-related experiences of people in developing countries as these countries become more urbanized. | Muslim et al. 2017. Nature-related experience during childhood in urban and rural areas: The case of Peninsular Malaysians .   
Private d3green space may be more beneficial than neighborhood natural space for 4-6 year olds
A longitudinal study involving nearly 3000 preschool children living in urban Scotland found that private natural spaces may be more beneficial for this age group than neighborhood natural spaces in promoting child development.  Public natural spaces, however, have an important role in promoting socially-beneficial interactions for children of all ages. |  Richardson et al. 2017. The role of public and private natural space in children's social, emotional, and behavioural development in Scotland: A longitudinal study.   Access study
[ Early Childhood ]
In the ec1context of forest school pedagogy, post humanism and the common worlds framework suggest that children's learning is about, through and with elements of the forest
"Matter matters to children" is a theme framing the discussion in this theoretical paper about children's relationship with the natural world.  The stick is used as an example of how matter can be an agentic force acting relationally with children's play and stories. The discussion reflects a "common worlds" perspective which extends subjectivities beyond the human species. | Harwood & Collier, 2017. The matter of the stick: Storying/ (re)storying children's literacies in the forest. Access study
Outdoor ec2activities may be more effective in promoting early child development than indoor activities
This study compared the developmental growth of two groups of Italian toddlers over a period of six months. One group attended an outdoor education (OE) nursery school; the other a traditional nursery school. Children in the OE group showed significantly greater improvements in the development of cognitive, emotional, social, and fine motor skills than children in the traditional education group. |  Monti et al. 2017. The role of outdoor education in child development in Italian nursery schools.   Access study
Preschoolers' ec3sociodramatic play is more complex in a naturalized versus traditional outdoor playspace
Over 50 children -- all attending the same Australian preschool with access to both a traditional and a naturalized outdoor playspace -- participated in a study investigating whether the sociodramatic play processes differed in the two spaces. Play episodes in the naturalized space persisted longer, were more mobile, and involved more fantasy than in the traditional playspace. |  Morrissey, Scott & Rahimi, 2017. A comparison of sociodramatic play processes of preschoolers in a naturalized and a traditional outdoor space.   Access study
Private green ec4space may be more beneficial than neighborhood natural space for 4-6 year olds
A longitudinal study involving nearly 3000 preschool children living in urban Scotland found that private natural spaces may be more beneficial for this age group than neighborhood natural spaces in promoting child development. Public natural spaces, however, have an important role in promoting socially-beneficial interactions for children of all ages. |  Richardson et al. 2017. The role of public and private natural space in children's social, emotional, and behavioural development in Scotland: A longitudinal study.  Access Study
Time for ec5outdoor play at school is highly valued by young children in different cultural and geographical contexts
Forty-five children attending preschools in Tanzania and Canada used multimodal forms of communication to share their perspectives about preschool. Children from both sites indicated that their outdoor experiences at school were highly valued and promoted a strong sense of autonomy. Their narratives were culturally specific and linked to their local environments and families. Streelasky, 2017. Tanzanian and Canadian children's valued school experiences: A cross case comparison.    Access Study
Early childhood ec6education for sustainability can benefit from earlier pedagogical traditions focusing on connectivity, care, and crossing boundaries
This theoretical paper argues for a re-design of early childhood education to build on and strengthen children's innate relational way of being in the world. The current system reinforces human dominance over the environment. A "sustainability by default" approach emphasizes relationality, sense of place, belonging, empathy and care. Wals, 2017. Sustainability by default: Co-creating care and relationality through early childhood education.     Access Study
 [  Nature Therapy ] 
Surfing ntwith psychotherapeutic intervention can promote personal and social skills in at-risk young people
This study investigated the impact of a Surf Therapy program on 48 Portuguese adolescents living in foster care homes.  Reports from the participants, legal guardians and/or team staff indicated an increase in participants' personal, social and emotional functioning. de Matos et al. 2017. Surfing for social integration: Mental health and well-being promotion through Surf Therapy among institutionalized young people.    Access Study
 [  Pets ] 
Young pets1children develop strong relationships with pets behaviorally similar to humans; older children's pet attachments include other pet species
Data from two age-groups (6-10 and 11-14) of Austrian children indicate that age and gender make a difference in child-pet relationships.  Animal species also made a difference for the younger children, in that they made stronger attachments with pets behaviorally similar to humans.  Girls in both age groups reported more intense relationships with pets than boys. Hirschenhauser et al. 2017. Children love their pets: Do relationships between children and pets co-vary with taxonomic order, gender, and age.    Access Study
The pets2health benefits of dogs and cats for children are not supported in a large population-based study
Research involving over 5000 children in California indicated that pet owners differ from non-owners on a number of health-related factors, but the evidence does not support the idea that growing up with a pet dog or cat promotes children's physical and psychological health. Previous evidence of positive benefits of pets may be attributable to confounding factors. 
C Miles et al. 2017. Propensity-score-weighted population-based study of the health benefits of dogs and cats for childreny.
    Access Study
[ Pathways to Benefits of Nature ]
Benefits pathof nature to humans are delivered through both sensory and non-sensory pathways
This review examined the evidence of nature benefits delivered through our lesser-studied sensory pathways (sound, smell, taste, and touch) and three non-sensory pathways (phytoncides, negative air ions and microbes). This research also identified important gaps in our understanding of how nature experiences benefit human health and well-being and offers suggestions for further investigationsn. Franco, Shanahan, & Fuller, 2017. A review of the benefits of nature experiences: More than meets the eye?    Access Study
[ School Gardens ]
School schoolgardengarden program in Nepal raised awareness of, knowledge of and preferences for, but not consumption of, fruit and vegetables
This randomized controlled study investigated knowledge, awareness, and behavioral outcomes of a school garden program in Nepal. Data were collected from 20 schools participating in the program and 10 non-participating schools. Participating schools reported significant increases in children's knowledge about fruits and vegetables, but not in consumption. 
Schreinemachers et al. 2017. Impact of school gardens in Nepal: A cluster randomised controlled trial.
  Access Study
[ Self Regulation ]
Children regulationmay need more than brief exposures to nature to support self-regulation capacities
Research investigating the relationship between exposure to natural and urban environments and children's self-regulation produced mixed results. While self-regulation scores were significantly better after exposure to a natural than urban environment, this effect seemed to be due to the depleting effect of the built condition rather than any restorativeness of the natural condition. Jenkin et al. 2017. The relationship between exposure to natural and urban environments and children's self-regulation.    Access Study
 [  Social Justice ] 
Improving sjthe quantity and quality of green space could play a significant and positive social role in deprived neighborhoods
This research found that people in deprived neighborhoods in Korea have less access to green space than those in other areas.  Based on resident feedback, researchers outline five characteristics of green space needed to promote the active use of green space and the health of residents in the deprived neighborhoods.  Children were especially interested in green space as a place to be with friends. Lee, Gu, & An, 2017. Residents' perception and use of green space: Results from a mixed methods study in a deprived neighbourhood in Korea.    Access Study
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