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Tina M. Waliczek and J.M. Zajicek

57 ORAL SESSION 11 (Abstr. 451–455) Human Issues in Horticulture–Children's Gardening

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Laurie W. DeMarco, P. Diane Relf and Alan McDaniel

57 ORAL SESSION 11 (Abstr. 451–455) Human Issues in Horticulture–Children's Gardening

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Sonja M. Skelly and J.M. Zajicek

57 ORAL SESSION 11 (Abstr. 451–455) Human Issues in Horticulture–Children's Gardening

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Anthony Kahtz

57 ORAL SESSION 11 (Abstr. 451–455) Human Issues in Horticulture–Children's Gardening

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Carol Dawson and J.M. Zajicek

57 ORAL SESSION 11 (Abstr. 451–455) Human Issues in Horticulture–Children's Gardening

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Jennifer DeWolfe, T.M. Waliczek and J.M. Zajicek

Researchers wonder what it takes to improve athlete performance. Research has suggested that plants reduce anxiety, and reduced anxiety could, in turn, improve athletic performance. Research also shows that plants have psychological and restorative value such as improving coping mechanisms in human subjects as well as the potential to improve concentration and focus attention that could affect performance of athletes. The main objective of this research was to investigate the impact of greenery/landscaping on athletic performance and cognitive and somatic anxiety in track and field athletes. Four university track and field teams and 128 athletes participated in the study. Individual athlete performance and athletes' scores on the competitive state anxiety inventory-2 (CSAI-2) cognitive and somatic anxiety tests were collected from seven track meets that occurred during one spring competition season. Greenness/landscaping level was determined by Likert scale rating averages from professional horticulturists who individually rated each site. A regression analysis found that greenness level was a predictor (P = 0.000) of best performance by athletes. More of the athletes' best performance marks were at the track and field site that had the highest greenery rating, and many of the athletes' worst performance marks were achieved at the site that had the lowest greenery rating. Results also indicated that all athletes performed better at the more vegetated track and field site regardless of event and level of anxiety. All athletes performed similarly at each of the track and field sites regardless of ethnicity, gender, or grade classification. However, the overall average mean anxiety scores for all the athletes involved in this study were somewhat high in comparison with the instrument-normed scores for both the cognitive and somatic anxiety scales.

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Paula Diane Relf, Thomas McAnge and Kathleen Dobbs

The Internet is a system of nearly 10,000 computer networks linked together in cooperative, non-centralized collaboration. There are more than a million host computers in 36 countries from universities, research groups, companies and government installations. GOPHER is a tool that allows someone to look for information by moving through menus in the Internet system until specific documents are Identified that are of value to the researcher. A GOPHER Server has been established at VPI & SU for the Extension Service as follows:

Horticulture

Consumer Horticulture

(Includes the following topic areas: Environmental Issues; General Horticulture Information; Human Issues in Horticulture; Pest Management; Plant Fact Sheets; Virginia Gardener Extension Publications; Virginia Master Gardeners)

This information will be of value to educators, writers and private gardeners wanting current information on diverse consumer horticulture topics. The Human Issues in Horticulture information will be of particular value to researchers seeking information or collaborators in research related to the economic, environmental, psychological, physiological, social, cultural or aesthetic benefits of plants to people.

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Jayne M. Zajicek

Studies in human issues in horticulture have focused on how gardens affect the self-development typically in non-traditional or special populations. As the science of people–plant research expands, many populations are being investigated, including youth. As we study the effects of horticulture on self-development of youth, it is important to cross the boundaries between technical horticulture and disciplines such as psychology and education. Tools that have been used traditionally in these other disciplines have been adapted to study the effects of gardening on children. Two major areas of research will be reviewed, including: 1) The effects of gardening and school ground landscaping on the self-development, environmental attitudes and horticulture knowledge of mainstream school children, and 2) The evaluation of horticulture programs established for at-risk youth and juvenile offenders.

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Candice A. Shoemaker, Kim Randall, P. Diane Relf and E. Scott Geller

The effects of plants in the workplace on the opinions and attitudes of workers was assessed. Attitudes of employees regarding plants were favorable, and most surveyed agreed that plants in the office made it a more desirable place to work. Office workers were aware of the benefits, such as improving air quality, that plants provide. No behavioral changes in response to the addition of plants to the office environment were demonstrated. There were no significant differences between gender, position in the corporation, and age regarding perceptions of plants in the office environment.

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Candice A. Shoemaker and P. Diane Relf

Surveys of consumers and the recently bereaved were conducted to determine who sends flowers as a sympathy gift and when and why sympathy flowers are sent. Of consumers, 85% sent flowers as a sympathy gift at least once; similarly, 84% of the recently bereaved had sent sympathy flowers. Most sympathy flowers are sent to close friends (63%) and close family members (62%), and sympathy flowers are most often received from close friends (56%) and close family members (43%). Ninety-three percent send flowers as a sympathy gift immediately after notification of a death. According to our survey, sympathy flowers serve two roles in the bereavement process—an emotional and a functional role. Except contact of family and friends, participants indicated that receiving sympathy flowers to help deal with grief was equally or more valuable than all rituals associated with funerals.