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‘This Is What the Colour Green Smells Like!’: Urban Forest Bathing Improved Adolescent Nature Connection and Wellbeing

McEwan, Kirsten; Potter, Vanessa; Kotera, Yasuhiro; Jackson, Jessica Eve; Greaves, Sarah

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Authors

Kirsten McEwan

Vanessa Potter

Jessica Eve Jackson

Sarah Greaves



Abstract

Background: Research suggests that an early connection with nature can benefit wellbeing into adulthood. However, there is less research assessing whether adolescents benefit from formal nature connection interventions such as forest bathing (slow mindful nature walks). This research aimed to assess whether an urban nature connection intervention (called ParkBathe) could improve adolescents’ nature connection and wellbeing. Method: In an experimental repeated measures design, 44 adolescents sampled opportunistically from Scouts groups, completed surveys and interviews before and after experiencing an urban nature connection intervention. Results: Paired-samples t-tests between baseline and post-intervention survey scores revealed statistically significant improvements in anxiety (13% reduction); rumination (44% reduction); scepticism (17% reduction); nature connection (25% increase); and social connection (12% increase). The largest effect size was found for nature connection. Interviews revealed that before the session, participants had a mixed understanding and expectations of the intervention. Conclusions: After the session, the participants expressed enjoying the social aspects of being part of a group and being present in the moment by noticing nature. They expressed the effects of this as immediately calming and relaxing. Urban forest bathing improved nature connection and wellbeing in adolescents and could be implemented and/or signposted by schools and youth charities.

Citation

McEwan, K., Potter, V., Kotera, Y., Jackson, J. E., & Greaves, S. (2022). ‘This Is What the Colour Green Smells Like!’: Urban Forest Bathing Improved Adolescent Nature Connection and Wellbeing. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(23), Article 15594. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192315594

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 20, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 24, 2022
Publication Date Nov 24, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 25, 2022
Publicly Available Date Nov 25, 2022
Journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Print ISSN 1661-7827
Electronic ISSN 1660-4601
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 23
Article Number 15594
DOI https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192315594
Keywords adolescent; anxiety; forest bathing; nature connection; rumination; social connection
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/14038891
Publisher URL https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/19/23/15594

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