Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Campus green space more important for undergrads

Date:
April 19, 2010
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
Students' perceptions of their overall experience on campus may be most strongly associated with their academic accomplishments, but research has also found a solid relationship between undergraduates' use of campus green spaces and their perceptions of quality of life. While researchers found no relationship between graduate student use of campus green spaces and perception of quality of life, graduate students still reported overall positive feelings about their university experiences and their personal lives.

Students' perceptions of their overall experience on campus may be most strongly associated with their academic accomplishments, but research has also found a solid relationship between undergraduates' use of campus green spaces and their perceptions of quality of life. Are campus green spaces as important to graduate students as they are to undergrads? A new study investigating this question revealed some interesting insights.

The incidence of attrition among doctoral students has been estimated to be as high as 40% to 50%; one Canadian study found that graduate students had significantly higher stress levels, more thoughts of quitting school, and more mental health problems than did medical students. University administrators looking for innovative approaches to retaining students and increasing student satisfaction are now looking to research that suggests that interactions with nature result in increased self-esteem and reduced stress levels on campus.

A team of researchers from Texas A&M and Texas State University used an online survey containing questions related to student use of campus green spaces, overall quality of life, and demographic data. The research indicated that, unlike undergrads, graduate students did not have a statistically significant relationship between "green user" scores and perception of quality of life scores. Undergraduates said they were primarily ''high users'' of campus green spaces, but graduate students were almost equally split between being ''low'', ''medium'', and ''high users'' of campus green spaces.

While researchers found no relationship between graduate student use of campus green spaces and perception of quality of life, graduate students still reported overall positive feelings about their university experiences and their personal lives. According to lead author A.L. McFarland; "It is interesting that the quality of life findings in this study do not support previous studies that found that graduate students had significantly higher stress levels and more frequent mental distress (compared with the national adult population). In fact, this study found the opposite -- that graduate students were overall happy and had positive perceptions of their quality of life."

Why might graduate students report high perceptions of quality of life even though they reported lower use of campus green spaces? "It may be that graduate students have less time to spend in outdoor spaces, yet still meet their quality of life needs through other means such as academic achievements," noted the authors. The research team posited that factors other than green space use may contribute to graduate students' quality of life. For instance, people with intimate relationships have been found to be happier than individuals without these relationships, and almost half of graduate students surveyed were married. Graduate students may report higher perceptions of quality of life due to their relationships with a significant other.

The authors added that this study did not investigate graduate students' "green-use" outside of the university setting. Because many of the respondents were commuters with jobs and families, they may not actually spend much time on campus. They noted that further studies designed to investigate off-campus green-use may show that interaction with green space is indeed important for graduate students.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Mcfarland, T. Waliczek, and J. Zajicek. Graduate Student Use of Campus Green Spaces and the Impact on Their Perceptions of Quality of Life. HortTechnology, 20: 186-192 (2010) [link]

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Campus green space more important for undergrads." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419162312.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2010, April 19). Campus green space more important for undergrads. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419162312.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Campus green space more important for undergrads." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419162312.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Mother Nature is pulling a trick on the kids of Arviat, Canada. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) tells us, the effects of global warming caused the town to ban trick-or-treating this Halloween. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins