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Eunhee Kim and Richard H. Mattson

Psychophysiological responses to geranium visual stimuli were analyzed on female college students with low attentiveness. Alpha and fast-beta brain wave activities, electrodermal activities, and skin temperature were measured continuously during a 5-min baseline, a 10-min induced stressor, and a 5-min treatment. Each of 75 female college students viewed a film of a stressful human situation—an induced stressor, then was exposed to a randomly assigned treatment: red-flowering geraniums, nonflowering geraniums, or no plants. Based on responses to the induced stressor, students were placed into non-, mild-, and high-induced stress groups. Regression models of psychophysiological responses to each treatment were developed for over-all stress levels. Non-induced stress female students exposed to red-flowering geraniums in contrast to nonflowering geraniums and no-plants showed greater fast-beta brain wave activity. Greater fast-beta of non-induced stress female students exposed red-flowering geraniums was associated with increased positive attention and not because of increased stressful tension. This conclusion was supported by more positive emotional states self-reported using the Zuckerman Inventory of Personal Reactions. Conclusive findings from over-all stress levels suggest that benefits of viewing red-flowering geraniums occur to both nonstress and high stress female college students; red-flowering geraniums improve positive attention of female students with no stress (low attentiveness) and enhance stress recovery of female students with high stress (tension).

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Richard H. Mattson*, Eunhee Kim, Gary E. Marlowe, and Jimmy D. Nicholson

At the Lamar County Adult Probation Program in Paris, Texas, a three-year study (Spring 2001-Fall 2003) involving 376 probationers was conducted to investigate the rehabilitative effects on probationers of a horticulture vocational training program. Data were collected on 189 adults who were randomly assigned to a horticulture group doing greenhouse plant production and vegetable gardening activities. The horticulture group was compared with 187 adults who were in a non-horticulture community service group doing trash clean-up and janitorial work. Within the horticulture group, significant improvement occurred in horticultural knowledge (KSU General and Specific Horticulture Exams), self-esteem (Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale), and environmental awareness (Environmental Response Inventory). These changes did not occur within the non-horticulture community service group. Future research will examine recidivism rates and vocational placements of probationers from both groups.