Biodiverse urban forests, happy people: experimental evidence linking perceived biodiversity, restoration, and emotional wellbeing

Nghiem, T. P. L. and Wong, K. L. and Jeevanandam, L. and Chang, C. C. and Tan, L. Y. C. and Goh, Y. and Carrasco, L. R. (2021) Biodiverse urban forests, happy people: experimental evidence linking perceived biodiversity, restoration, and emotional wellbeing. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 59:127030. pp. 1-8. ISSN 1618-8667


Abstract

Here we investigate whether perceived biodiversity is linked to emotional wellbeing, taking into account the individual level of connection to nature, and whether such relationship is mediated by perceived restorativeness. We exposed participants to urban trails of different biodiversity levels and analysed the data using linear mixed-effects and structural equation models. Our results show that animal diversity and nature relatedness are positively linked to perceived restorativeness that, in turn, increases positive affect and decreases negative affect; thus suggesting that restoration mediates the effect of biodiversity on emotional wellbeing. We also found walk duration is linked to increased positive affect and reduced negative affect while crowdedness level in the trail has the opposite effect. Our results show an important link between urban biodiversity conservation and public mental health.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 -)
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2021 04:43
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2021 03:50
Uncontrolled Keywords: urban parks, subjective wellbeing, environmental psychology, stress reduction theory, attention restoration theory
Fields of Research (2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Fields of Research (2020): 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520399 Clinical and health psychology not elsewhere classified
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology > 520406 Sensory processes, perception and performance
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4199 Other environmental sciences > 419999 Other environmental sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200201 Determinants of health
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280121 Expanding knowledge in psychology
20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200401 Behaviour and health
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2021.127030
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/41509

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