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Title: Allotment gardening, connectedness to nature and wellbeing
Author: Webber, Jo
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 7504
Awarding Body: Canterbury Christ Church University
Current Institution: Canterbury Christ Church University
Date of Award: 2013
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The potential for green interventions to promote mental wellbeing and reduce mental distress is increasingly being recognised (Mind, 2007). Preliminary evidence suggests that allotment gardening activities may have a significant effect on mental wellbeing, but a paucity of research, particularly in non-clinical populations, has been highlighted (Partridge, 2010). A cross-sectional online survey of 171 allotment gardeners was conducted. Measures of subjective wellbeing (quality of life), eudaimonic wellbeing, connectedness to nature and preference for solitude were administered. Qualitative data were also collected through open-ended questions. Allotment gardeners’ scores on measures of environmental quality of life and eudaimonic wellbeing were significantly higher than those reported in the literature, but social quality of life was lower in allotment gardeners. Regression analysis showed that time spent on the allotment during summer predicted eudaimonic wellbeing. This relationship was fully mediated by feelings of connectedness to nature. A relationship was observed between spending time on the allotment and preference for solitude. Four main themes emerged from the qualitative data: allotments provided a space of one’s own, meaningful activity, increased feelings of connectedness, and improved physical and mental health. The results suggest that allotment gardening is associated with increased eudaimonic wellbeing, but not subjective wellbeing (also referred to as hedonic wellbeing). Furthermore, a mechanism through which allotment gardening enhances wellbeing is suggested: increased connectedness to nature. Limitations of the current study and clinical and research implications are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF0076.5 Psychology research ; RA0790 Mental health services. Mental illness prevention ; SB0450.9 Gardens and gardening