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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3227-3244; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093227

Adolescents’ Daily Activities and the Restorative Niches that Support Them

*  and
School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, Scotland, UK
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 June 2012 / Revised: 14 August 2012 / Accepted: 21 August 2012 / Published: 5 September 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Nature)
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This paper explores wellbeing from the perspective of the psychological dynamics underlying adolescents’ relationship with place. It uses a dynamic model of wellbeing called personal project analysis (PPA) which captures the concept of ‘flourishing’, defined as functioning well in your activities, strivings and interactions with the world [1]. Using PPA methods we identified adolescents’ daily activities and the ‘restorative niches’ that best support them. A series of settings (including home, urban and natural outdoor places) were explored using PPA with 45 young people (aged 11–13) living in Edinburgh, Central Scotland. Participants were asked to think of eight projects of current importance to them, to say where the project took place and to rate each project against a series of core wellbeing dimensions measuring project meaning, manageability, support and affect (how much fun, stress etc.). Latent class analysis was carried out to explore clusters—or sub-groups—in the data and to identify the significant discriminators between clusters. A three-cluster model produced the best fit with project type, project place and wellbeing indicators (fun and stress) significantly discriminating between the three clusters. The three clusters were labeled by their dominant environmental context, ‘faraway’ (e.g., beach, national parks, hills), ‘everyday’ (e.g., home, school, local streets) and ‘citywide’ (e.g., sport settings, urban town context). ‘Faraway’ and ‘citywide’ clusters had a significantly higher wellbeing content, especially for fun and stress; the ‘everyday’ cluster indicated local environs remain a dominant project place for this age group, but are associated with greater stress. We compare findings with adults and suggest that outdoor settings further afield from home have greater significance within adolescent project systems, but that support is needed to facilitate access to these places.
Keywords: adolescent; personal project; wellbeing; flourishing; restorative niche; place adolescent; personal project; wellbeing; flourishing; restorative niche; place
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Roe, J.J.; Aspinall, P.A. Adolescents’ Daily Activities and the Restorative Niches that Support Them. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 3227-3244.

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