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“Exploring Psychological Restoration in Favorite Indoor and Outdoor Urban Places Using a Top-down Perspective”, Subiza-Pérez et al 2021

2021-subizaperez.pdf: “Exploring psychological restoration in favorite indoor and outdoor urban places using a top-down perspective”⁠, Mikel Subiza-Pérez, Tytti Pasanen, Eleanor Ratcliffe, Kate Lee, Anna Bornioli, Jessica de Bloom, Kalevi Korpela et al (2021-12-01; similar):

  • Homes and bars, cafés were the most commonly described favorite indoor settings.
  • Urban parks and forests were the most popular outdoor settings.
  • Favorite outdoor places were rated higher on restoration and indoor in place bonding.
  • Personality variables were hardly related to experienced restoration.
  • A third of the sample experienced more restoration in the indoor setting.

Most studies on psychological restoration and favorite places have addressed restoration in green or blue outdoor settings whereas the interest around built and indoor settings has been scarce.

In this study, we analyzed restorative experiences in favorite indoor and outdoor urban places using a top-down approach by including psycho-environmental variables (nature and urban orientedness, place bonding) and personality traits (Big Five). A sample of 945 university students and staff recruited in 5 western countries (Finland, Spain, The Netherlands, UK and Australia) answered an online questionnaire.

In the linear regression models, perceived restorative potential, place attachment and place identification were the strongest predictors of subjective restoration. Personality traits did not play a statistically-significant role in restorative experiences.

This work extends restoration research by considering the role of indoor, as well as outdoor environments and highlights the role of certain top-down characteristics in restorative experiences.

[Keywords: indoor environment, outdoor environment, stress recovery, Restoration Outcome Scale, place attachment]

“Global Urbanicity Is Associated With Brain and Behaviour in Young People”, Xu et al 2021

2021-xu.pdf: “Global urbanicity is associated with brain and behaviour in young people”⁠, Jiayuan Xu, Xiaoxuan Liu, Qiaojun Li, Ran Goldblatt, Wen Qin, Feng Liu, Congying Chu, Qiang Luo, Alex Ing et al (2021-10-28; ⁠, ; similar):

Urbanicity is a growing environmental challenge for mental health.

Here, we investigate correlations of urbanicity with brain structure and function, neuropsychology and mental illness symptoms in young people from China and Europe (total n = 3,867). We developed a remote-sensing satellite measure (UrbanSat) to quantify population density at any point on Earth.

UrbanSat estimates of urbanicity were correlated with brain volume, cortical surface area and brain network connectivity in the medial prefrontal cortex and cerebellum. UrbanSat was also associated with perspective-taking and depression symptoms, and this was mediated by neural variables. Urbanicity effects were greatest when urban exposure occurred in childhood for the cerebellum, and from childhood to adolescence for the prefrontal cortex.

As UrbanSat can be generalized to different geographies, it may enable assessments of correlations of urbanicity with mental illness and resilience globally.

“Effects of Public Green Space on Acute Psychophysiological Stress Response: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Evidence”, Mygind et al 2019

2019-mygind.pdf: “Effects of Public Green Space on Acute Psychophysiological Stress Response: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Evidence”⁠, Lærke Mygind, Eva Kjeldsted, Rikke Hartmeyer, Erik Mygind, Matt P. Stevenson, Daniel S. Quintana, Peter Bentsen et al (2019-09-09; backlinks; similar):

Contact with nature is widely considered to ameliorate psychological stress, but the empirical support for a causal link is limited. We conducted a systematic review to synthesize and critically assess the evidence. Six electronic databases were searched. Twenty-six studies evaluated the difference between the effect of natural environments and that of a suitable control on the acute psychophysiological stress response. Eighteen studies were rated as being of moderate quality, four studies of low quality, and four studies of high quality. Meta-analyses indicated that seated relaxation (g =.5, p = 0.06) and walking (g =.3, p = 0.02) in natural environments enhanced heart rate variability more than the same activities in control conditions. Cortisol concentration measures were inconsistent. While intuitively and theoretically sound, the empirical support for acute stress-reducing effects of immersion in natural environments is tentative due to small sample sizes and methodological weaknesses in the studies. We provide guidelines for future research.

“Residential Green Space in Childhood Is Associated With Lower Risk of Psychiatric Disorders from Adolescence into Adulthood”, Engemann et al 2019

2019-engemann.pdf: “Residential green space in childhood is associated with lower risk of psychiatric disorders from adolescence into adulthood”⁠, Kristine Engemann, Carsten Bøcker Pedersen, Lars Arge, Constantinos Tsirogiannis, Preben Bo Mortensen et al (2019; similar):

Urban residence is associated with a higher risk of some psychiatric disorders, but the underlying drivers remain unknown. There is increasing evidence that the level of exposure to natural environments impacts mental health, but few large-scale epidemiological studies have assessed the general existence and importance of such associations. Here, we investigate the prospective association between green space and mental health in the Danish population. Green space presence was assessed at the individual level using high-resolution satellite data to calculate the normalized difference vegetation index within a 210 × 210 m square around each person’s place of residence (~1 million people) from birth to the age of 10. We show that high levels of green space presence during childhood are associated with lower risk of a wide spectrum of psychiatric disorders later in life. Risk for subsequent mental illness for those who lived with the lowest level of green space during childhood was up to 55% higher across various disorders compared with those who lived with the highest level of green space. The association remained even after adjusting for urbanization, socioeconomic factors, parental history of mental illness, and parental age. Stronger association of cumulative green space presence during childhood compared with single-year green space presence suggests that presence throughout childhood is important. Our results show that green space during childhood is associated with better mental health, supporting efforts to better integrate natural environments into urban planning and childhood life.

“Would You Be Happier Living in a Greener Urban Area? A Fixed-Effects Analysis of Panel Data”, White et al 2013

2013-white.pdf: “Would You Be Happier Living in a Greener Urban Area? A Fixed-Effects Analysis of Panel Data”⁠, Mathew P. White, Ian Alcock, Benedict W. Wheeler, Michael H. Depledge (2013-04-23; backlinks; similar):

Urbanization is a potential threat to mental health and well-being. Cross-sectional evidence suggests that living closer to urban green spaces, such as parks, is associated with lower mental distress. However, earlier research was unable to control for time-invariant heterogeneity (eg. personality) and focused on indicators of poor psychological health. The current research advances the field by using panel data from over 10,000 individuals to explore the relation between urban green space and well-being (indexed by ratings of life satisfaction) and between urban green space and mental distress (indexed by General Health Questionnaire scores) for the same people over time. Controlling for individual and regional covariates, we found that, on average, individuals have both lower mental distress and higher well-being when living in urban areas with more green space. Although effects at the individual level were small, the potential cumulative benefit at the community level highlights the importance of policies to protect and promote urban green spaces for well-being.

“Exercise-based, Nature-based and Socially Interactive-based Initiatives Improve Mood and Self-esteem in the Clinical Population”, Barton et al 2011

2012-barton.pdf: “Exercise-based, nature-based and socially interactive-based initiatives improve mood and self-esteem in the clinical population”⁠, Jo Barton, Murray Griffin, Jules Pretty (2011-04-07; backlinks; similar):

Aims: This study evaluated two existing group-based health promotion initiatives (a social club and a swimming group) and compared these to a new green exercise programme (weekly countryside and urban park walks).

Methods: Participants represented a clinical population (n = 53) and were all experiencing a range of mental health problems. They only attended one of the three programmes and sessions were held once a week for six weeks in all initiatives. Composite questionnaires incorporating two standardized measures to analyse changes in self-esteem and mood were completed before and after all sessions.

Results: A significant main effect for self-esteem and mood pre and post activity (p < 0.001) was reported after participating in a single session. The change in self-esteem was significantly greater in the green exercise group compared with the social activities club (p < 0.001). Dose responses showed that both self-esteem and mood levels improved over the six-week period and improvements were related to attendance in the green exercise group.

Conclusions: Green exercise as a health-promoting initiative for people experiencing mental ill health is equally as effective as existing programmes. Combining exercise, nature and social components in future initiatives may play a key role in managing and supporting recovery from mental ill health, suggesting a potential ‘green’ approach to mental healthcare and promotion.

“Delusion Content across the 20th Century in an American Psychiatric Hospital”, Cannon & Kramer 2011

2012-cannon.pdf: “Delusion content across the 20th century in an American psychiatric hospital”⁠, Brooke J. Cannon, Lorraine Masinos Kramer (2011-03-18; backlinks; similar):

Background: Differences in delusion content have been studied across time periods and in various international samples, with variations reflecting sociocultural influences. A similar analysis of delusion content in an American sample has yet to be reported.

Aims: The current study seeks to contribute to this growing database by reporting delusion content from a sample in the US across a 100-year period.

Methods: Archival medical records of 102 patients hospitalized for psychosis across the 20th century were examined for types of delusion content. Random samples were selected from each decade. All patients were hospitalized at the same state psychiatric facility in the US.

Results: Persecutory was the most common delusion category, followed by religious, somatic and grandiose. Greater frequency of persecutory delusions occurred after 1950. Delusion content also reflected sociocultural factors during the associated time period.

Conclusions: As in most samples internationally, persecutory was the most common delusion type. Delusion content paralleled sociocultural changes, as has been reported in non-American samples.

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