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Residential greenspace is associated with mental health via intertwined capacity-building and capacity-restoring pathways
Med Univ Plovdiv, Fac Publ Hlth, Dept Hyg & Ecomed, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for Housing and Urban Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9970-9164
Med Univ Plovdiv, Med Coll, Plovdiv, Bulgaria;Univ Agribusiness & Rural Dev, Dept Management, Fac Econ & Management, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Med Univ Plovdiv, Fac Publ Hlth, Dept Hyg & Ecomed, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
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2019 (English)In: Environmental Research, ISSN 0013-9351, E-ISSN 1096-0953, Vol. 178, article id 108708Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Experiences afforded by natural settings promote health by helping people to build new adaptive capacities and to restore existing capacities. The aim of this study was to examine relations among restorative experience, mindfulness, rumination and psychological resilience in pathways linking residential greenspace to anxiety and depression symptoms.

Methods: We sampled 529 university students residing in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Residential greenspace was measured in terms of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and tree cover density for different buffer sizes. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were measured with the Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (7-item) and Patient Health Questionnaire (9-item), respectively. The following mediators were assessed by self-report: perceived greenspace, restorative quality of the neighborhood, dispositional mindfulness, rumination, and psychological resilience. Structural equation modelling techniques were used to test the theoretically-indicated relations among the variables.

Results: Across different buffer sizes, higher greenspace was consistently associated with reduced scores on the anxiety and depression scales. This effect was partially mediated via several pathways. Specifically, higher NDVI500-m was associated with higher perceived greenspace, and in turn, with higher restorative quality, and then with higher mindfulness, lower rumination, and greater resilience to stress, and consequently, with better mental health.

Conclusions: Our findings affirm the potential of greenspace for building psychological resilience and promoting health by offsetting dysfunctional rumination and facilitating mindfulness as components of intertwined capacity-building and capacity-restoring pathways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE , 2019. Vol. 178, article id 108708
Keywords [en]
Greenness, Mindfulness, Nature, Resilience, Restoration, Rumination
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-396514DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.108708ISI: 000488653000017PubMedID: 31526908OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-396514DiVA, id: diva2:1368189
Available from: 2019-11-06 Created: 2019-11-06 Last updated: 2019-11-07Bibliographically approved

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