Special Issue "Natural and Built Outdoor Environments and Children’s Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2023.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Iana Markevych
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Psychology, Jagiellonian University, 30-060 Krakow, Poland
Interests: greenspace, air pollution and other place-related exposures; childhood health, especially, mental health, ADHD and allergic outcomes
Prof. Dr. Matthew Browning
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Virtual Reality & Nature (VRN) Lab, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29631, USA
Interests: environmental epidemology, restorative environments, green space, blue space, environmental psychology, urban greening, mental health, cognitive performance, systematic reviews, virtual reality
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Angel Dzhambov
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Hygiene and Ecomedicine, Faculty of Public Health, Medical University of Plovdiv, 4002 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Interests: environmental and occupational epidemiology; health effects of traffic noise and natural outdoor environments; mediation and conditional process analyses; systematic reviews and meta-analyses
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on the impact of built and natural environments on children's health in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. This venue is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes research in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal, please visit https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

Physical, mental, and social health are important considerations for many urban planners and policy-makers. Exposures in early childhood and through adolescent development set trajectories for risks of disease and illness in adulthood. Despite the importance of childhood exposures to lifelong health, they remain less studied and more poorly understood than adulthood exposures.

Countless attributes of childhood environments can impact lifelong health. Of particular interest are the effects of neighborhood socio-demographics, green spaces, fresh food availability, social services such as post offices and churches, street connectivity and walkability, and public transportation systems. Additional research in urban and rural settings and developing and developed countries will better guide policy efforts and planning for children's health.

This Special Issue is open to submissions that study how environmental exposures affect health from conception through childhood and young adulthood. Especially welcome are studies of the exposome—the combined effects of at least two exposures—and life-course epidemiology frameworks. The supplemental keywords suggest just a few of the many possibilities.

Dr. Iana Markevych
Dr. Matthew Browning
Dr. Angel Dzhambov
Prof. Dr. Peter Lercher
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Pregnancy
  • Early life
  • Children
  • Adolescents
  • Teenagers
  • Neighborhood
  • Built environment
  • Walkability
  • Pedestrian paths
  • Land use mix
  • Facility access
  • Street connectivity
  • Obesogenic environment
  • Healthy food access
  • Bikeability
  • Bike lanes
  • Public transportation
  • Nature
  • Green infrastructure
  • Green spaces
  • Greenness
  • Tree cover
  • Playgrounds
  • Community gardens
  • Blue spaces
  • Restorative quality
  • Urbanicity
  • Air pollution
  • Traffic noise
  • Brain development
  • Cognition
  • Behavioral outcomes
  • Mood disorders
  • Emotion regulation
  • Academic achievement
  • Creativity
  • Unstructured play
  • Mindfulness
  • Eating disorders
  • Autism
  • Sleep quantity and quality
  • Low-grade chronic inflammation
  • Microbiome
  • Social support/cohesion/interaction
  • Screen time
  • Suicide/suicide risk
  • Health disparities

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Considering Autonomous Exploration in Healthy Environments: Reflections from an Urban Wildscape
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 11867; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182211867 - 12 Nov 2021
Viewed by 415
Abstract
Autonomous exploration should be considered in the creation of healthy environments since autonomy is an important developmental experience for children. For a group of boys in Raleigh, N.C., U.S. during the period 2002–2006, autonomous exploration was a meaningful experience. Results of a qualitative [...] Read more.
Autonomous exploration should be considered in the creation of healthy environments since autonomy is an important developmental experience for children. For a group of boys in Raleigh, N.C., U.S. during the period 2002–2006, autonomous exploration was a meaningful experience. Results of a qualitative research project (n = 5) which highlight the importance of autonomous exploration are organized within a proposed framework for thick description. The framework creates verisimilitude by reporting on the context, social action and cultural context, and behavior and intentionality. The context of Raleigh and urban wildscapes furnished areas ripe for exploration. The social action and cultural context of attachment supported the autonomous exploration through scaffolded experiences of autonomy. The intentionality of the behavior was a desire to distinct themselves through a focus on individual development and the pursuit of extraordinary experiences. The ultimate outcomes of autonomous exploration for the boys were the development of long-term, intimate friendships and confidence in their decision-making ability. As cities become more health-focused, attention should be paid to preserve the rough edges of a city for children to explore. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural and Built Outdoor Environments and Children’s Health)
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Article
Impact of Residential Green Space on Sleep Quality and Sufficiency in Children and Adolescents Residing in Australia and Germany
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4894; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134894 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1372
Abstract
Increasing evidence suggests adults living in greener areas tend to have more favourable sleep-related outcomes, but children and adolescents are under-researched. We hypothesised that children and adolescents living in greener areas would have better quality and more sufficient levels of sleep on average, [...] Read more.
Increasing evidence suggests adults living in greener areas tend to have more favourable sleep-related outcomes, but children and adolescents are under-researched. We hypothesised that children and adolescents living in greener areas would have better quality and more sufficient levels of sleep on average, especially within the context of high traffic noise exposure. These hypotheses were tested using multilevel logistic regressions fitted on samples from the nationally representative Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (10–11 years old, n = 3469, and 14–15 years old, n = 2814) and the GINIplus and LISA cohorts (10 years old, n = 1461, and 15 years old, n = 4172) from the Munich, Wesel, and Leipzig areas of Germany. Questionnaire-based binary indicators of sleep sufficiency and sleep quality in each cohort were assessed with respect to objectively measured green space exposures adjusting for age, sex, and maternal education. Models were augmented with proxy measures of traffic noise and two-way interaction terms to test for effect modification. Cross-tabulations illustrated little convincing evidence of association between green space and insufficient sleep or poor sleep quality in either sample, except for insufficient sleep among 10 year old participants in Germany. These null findings were replicated in adjusted models. The proxy for traffic noise was associated with poor quality sleep in 15 year old participants in Germany, but no convincing evidence of modified association with green space was observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural and Built Outdoor Environments and Children’s Health)
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