Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Therapeutic Benefits of Community Gardening: An Exploration of the Impact of Community Gardens Through the Lens of Community Psychology
by Michaels, Meredith, Psy.D., Alliant International University, 2013, 199; 3567663
Abstract (Summary)

Community psychology is a unique field of psychology that perceives individuals as linked to their context. The role of psychologist within this branch of psychology is viewed as one who is responsible for addressing the individual, as well as the social patterns and structures that adversely affect well-being. The use of community gardens as a therapeutic tool may serve as a two-fold intervention that can be used at both the individual and community levels. This doctoral project explores the therapeutic benefits of community gardening through the lens of the community psychology perspective. Framed within a community psychology perspective in which clients are inextricably linked to their social and physical context, engaging with nature through community gardening may lead to healthier client outcomes. A literature review was conducted to inform the author of current data related to the study of community gardens and their impact on mental health. The reviewed data pointed to the impact of community gardens on individual physical and mental health, and the social and physical community contexts that additionally affect mental health. Additional consultations with experts in the field were used to corroborate and extend research findings in the literature. The information collected from the current body of literature and consultations were presented as a professional presentation to mental health workers to increase their knowledge of the therapeutic benefits of community gardening. The limitations of the current body of literature, considerations for application in clinical practice, and recommendations for future areas of study were also considered.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Murray, Joan, Holloway, Judith
School: Alliant International University
Department: Los Angeles, CSPP
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 74/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Environmental Studies, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Community gardens, Community psychology, Ecopsychology, Green exercise, Nature, Social capital
Publication Number: 3567663
ISBN: 9781303195358
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