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  • Author or Editor: Tammy C. Kohlleppel x
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Stress has been called the epidemic of the 90s and has been found to play an important role in causing many diseases. To help cope with the stresses of life, people often seek out leisure activities and nature. Botanic gardens provide a place for experiencing recreational activities and the natural environment. Researchers at the Univ. of Florida developed a survey to gain insight into the influence of a botanic garden on visitor stress. Three botanic gardens in Florida participated in the survey of garden visitors; these included Bok Tower Gardens, Fairchild Tropical Garden, and Mounts Botanical Garden. More than 300 surveys were administered to and completed by visitors of these gardens in Apr. 1999. The survey consisted of three main sections: 1) visitor perceptions of botanic gardens, 2) visitor personal perceptions, and 3) demographic variables. A stress process model was developed that incorporated botanic gardens as a coping strategy. The relative importance of a visit to a botanic garden and other stress process factors were examined for their importance in stress reduction. Also, botanic gardens were placed in context of the stress process model with the development of a multivariate framework. The stress process model included individual factors, stressors, stress mediators, and stress outcomes. Findings from this study provided insight into the role of botanic gardens as a method to cope with the effects of stress. Results showed that a visit to a botanic garden is important in the context of the stress process model as a coping strategy. Data also showed that visitors receiving the most benefit of stress reduction were persons most needing a coping strategy, those having higher depression index scores.

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