Date of Paper

5-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Ande Nesmith

Abstract

Although horticulture programming has been utilized in the form of activities for various populations for centuries, much is not known about the benefits that come from participating in such activities. Over the past few decades, several research studies have begun to explore and explain the benefit of using horticulture programming for several populations with most of the research focusing on the older adult and persons with physical disabilities populations. The purpose of the current study was to gather information on the effects horticulture programming has on the emotional well-being of the youth population. The study included a nationwide survey of horticulture youth program leaders. Within the survey, participants were asked to reflect on the youth they had worked with, and provide responses to three quantitative measures of emotional well-being, several qualitative questions to support the quantitative answers, and demographic questions to gather a better understanding of the programs included in the sample. The findings of this study suggest that horticulture programming, on a whole, has positive impacts on the emotional well-being of youth. In particular, the findings highlight that horticulture programming enhances youths’ emotional well-being through improving pride, self-worth, coping skills, confidence, care for others and increased patience. Overall, future research to determine the extent and impact of the benefits suggested in this study would be beneficial. Future studies should aim to consider the impact of the design of the horticulture program, as well as provide a continued focus on the youth population. This study can provide a useful framework for determining populations of youth that need to be studied.

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