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    Author(s): Kathleen L. Wolf; Elizabeth Housley
    Date: 2017
    Source: Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. 60(10): 1853-1870.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (372.0 KB)


    Decades of research studies demonstrate links between healthy environment, healthy lifestyles, and healthy people. This study evaluated the correlations between young adult conservation workers’ perceived stress, personal effectiveness, and nature experience using quantitative and qualitative social science methods. The study cohort numbered nearly 300 individuals serving on small crews for an entire year, and were dispersed across Washington State (USA) to participate in conservation projects in rural to urban landscapes. Pre- and post-test surveys, using validated measures of perceived stress, health dimensions, and personal resiliency, were further informed by mid-year, field-based interviews. Overall, the young adults expressed fatigue with the physical work but were quite healthy when compared to national benchmarks. They indicated a reduction in perceived stress, and indicated social function influences based on the conservation work. Conclusions address the importance and implications of expanding this work opportunity to a more diverse cohort and future research needs.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Wolf, Kathleen L.; Housley, Elizabeth. 2017. Young adult conservation jobs and worker health. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. 60(10): 1853-1870.


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    Human health, restoration, social science, stress reduction, urban forestry.

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