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Open AccessArticle

Community Gardening: Stress, Well-Being, and Resilience Potentials

by Way Inn Koay 1,2 and Denise Dillon 1,*
1
Department of Psychology, James Cook University Singapore, Singapore 387380, Singapore
2
Department of Psychology, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore 169608, Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6740; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186740
Received: 28 July 2020 / Revised: 2 September 2020 / Accepted: 9 September 2020 / Published: 16 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
The financial and health burdens of stress associated with increased urbanization have led to a demand for mental health enhancement strategies. While some extant literature details mental health benefits of community gardening, a coherent narrative on the construct of resilience and its relationship with the mental health benefits of community gardening is lacking. The present study examined the relationship between community gardening and a number of mental health benefits, in the forms of subjective well-being, stress, resilience potentials, and resilience factors (self-esteem, optimism, and openness). A total of 111 residents in Singapore completed a survey. Results from Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) and Pearson’s correlation analyses show that, after controlling for age and levels of connection to nature, community gardeners reported significantly higher levels of subjective well-being than individual/home gardeners and non-gardeners, indicating that engagement in community gardening may be superior to individual/home gardening or non-gardening outdoor activities. Community gardeners reported higher levels of resilience and optimism than the non-gardening control group. These novel results indicate some potential for mental health benefits in urban environments, specifically in terms of subjective well-being and resilience. These findings have implications for future research in clinical psychology, mental health promotion, and policy. View Full-Text
Keywords: community gardening; contact with nature; connection to nature; mental health promotion; well-being; stress; resilience; self-esteem; optimism; openness community gardening; contact with nature; connection to nature; mental health promotion; well-being; stress; resilience; self-esteem; optimism; openness
MDPI and ACS Style

Koay, W.I.; Dillon, D. Community Gardening: Stress, Well-Being, and Resilience Potentials. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6740.

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