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Home Gardening and the Health and Well-Being of Adolescents

van Lier, Laila E.; Utter, Jennifer; Denny, Simon; Lucassen, Mathijs; Dyson, Ben and Clark, Terryann (2017). Home Gardening and the Health and Well-Being of Adolescents. Health Promotion Practice, 18(1) pp. 34–43.

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Background: The current article explores the associations between home gardening and dietary behaviors, physical activity, mental health, and social relationships among secondary school students in New Zealand.
Method: Data were drawn from a national youth health and well-being survey, conducted in 2012. In total, 8,500 randomly selected students from 91 randomly selected secondary schools completed the survey.
Results: Two thirds of students had a vegetable garden at home and one quarter of all students participated in home gardening. Students participating in gardening were most likely to be male, of a Pacific Island ethnicity, of younger age, and living in a rural area. Gardening was positively associated with healthy dietary habits among students, such as greater fruit and vegetable consumption. Gardening was also positively associated with physical activity and improved mental health and well-being. Students who participate in gardening report slightly lower levels of depressive symptoms and enhanced emotional well-being and experience higher family connection than students who do not participate in gardening.
Conclusions: Gardening may make a difference for health and nutrition behaviors and may contribute to adolescents’ health and well-being in a positive manner. Health promoters should be encouraged to include gardening in future interventions for young people.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2016 Society for Public Health Education
ISSN: 1552-6372
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Youth'12Not SetConsortium of eight government agencies in New Zealand.
Keywords: adolescent; gardening; mental health; nutrition
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Health, Wellbeing and Social Care > Health and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Health and Wellbeing PRA (Priority Research Area)
Item ID: 47669
Depositing User: Mathijs Lucassen
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2016 10:22
Last Modified: 28 May 2020 19:01
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