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Old 06-27-2002, 02:42 PM
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Post Found this bit about nature and girls interesting...

View Of Nature Reduces Girls' Risks
Study: Nature Promotes Self-Discipline, Concentration
Posted: 9:59 a.m. EDT June 27, 2002

What can improve inner-city girls' chances of leading a healthy life?

A simple view of nature through their windows might do the trick, according to scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"For the girls, we found that the greener the view that was available from their apartment window, the better they were able to concentrate, refrain from acting impulsively and delay gratification," said Andrea Faber Taylor, a postdoctoral researcher in the department of natural resources and environmental sciences. "The greener views translated into better self-discipline."

The findings, published in the June online issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology, are based on a study of 169 children, ages 7 to 12, in a large downtown Chicago public housing complex.

Boys' scores did not display the same relationship to views of nature from home, possibly because boys tend to spend more time playing away from home than do girls, said co-author Frances Kuo, co-director of the Human-Environment Research Lab.

This study is one of several that Kuo and third co-author William Sullivan have conducted on the link between nature and healthy human functioning in inner-city Chicago.


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The new findings, Taylor said, strengthen arguments that city planners and housing developers should strategically incorporate views and access to nature to enhance the quality of life for residents.

For the new study, the researchers recruited and trained volunteer residents of the mostly African-American Robert Taylor Homes to interview and test families they didn't already know. The data collected were then analyzed by the scientists to understand the impact of the physical environment on mothers and children.

Mothers were asked to rate the amounts of nature (trees, plants or water) and human-made structures (buildings, streets or pavement) visible through their apartment windows. Boys and girls were tested to measure concentration levels and impulse inhibition. A final measure, in which children had the option of getting a small bag of candy right away or a much larger one later on, was used to test their ability to delay gratification.

Greater performance in these three areas, Taylor said, reflects greater self-discipline, which, in turn, can enhance academic achievement and reduce juvenile delinquency and teenage pregnancies.

"This study is one of the first to examine the relationship between nature and concentration in children with normal attentional functioning," Kuo said.

The researchers say that the findings suggest that parents, caregivers and homeowners in inner-city neighborhoods should encourage girls to study or play in rooms with a view of nature; promote playing outdoors in green spaces; and plant and care for trees and vegetation around the home and in the neighborhood.

Copyright 2002 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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