Articles & Special Issues Environment & Social Development

Promoting Health-Related Quality of Life in Minority Youth Through Environmental Education and Nature Contact

Few studies have examined the relationship between environmental sustainability education and health outcomes in youth. The purpose of this study was to examine health-related quality of life over a 13-week time period in a sample of urban minority youth who participated in an environmental education program with a nature contact component. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was measured using a survey comprising five items (physical activity, emotional functioning, school functioning, family support, and social functioning). The overall HRQoL score was determined as the sum of the scores on the five items, with higher scores indicating better HRQoL. A pre-test/post-test within-subjects study design was used to evaluate changes in HRQoL. A total of 53 students (ages 10 to 14 years) participated in the environmental education intervention; 46 (87%) of those students completed HRQoL questionnaires before and after the program. There were statistically significant improvements in overall HRQoL scores and in the family support HRQoL domain scores. Engaging in the natural environment through environmental education may promote HRQoL in youth. Larger, prospective studies are warranted to further investigate these initial findings.

Citation

Ekenga, C. C., Sprague, N., & Shobiye, D. M. (2019). Promoting health-related quality of life in minority youth through environmental education and nature contact. Sustainability, 11(13), 3544. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/su11133544