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Claudia C. Collins and Angela M. O'Callaghan

-term care facilities will increase dramatically. This residential shift requires an examination of the quality of life for the older adults who will reside in those facilities. Mastery and self-rated health (SRH) have been found to be two of the most

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A.L. McFarland, T.M. Waliczek and J.M. Zajicek

environmental factors. There is a small but interesting set of studies investigating the relationship between physical environments and various aspects of quality of life. Kaplan and Kaplan (1989) reported that individuals who had access to natural settings

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A.L. McFarland, T.M. Waliczek and J.M. Zajicek

students felt more positively in stressed situations when viewing plants or other views of nature ( Ulrich, 1979 , 1981 ). Additional research found that undergraduate student use of campus green spaces and perceptions of quality of life were positively

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Aime J. Sommerfeld, Tina M. Waliczek and Jayne M. Zajicek

combination of moderate physical activity and increased consumption of fruit and vegetables has been reported to dramatically reduce an adult's risk for many chronic diseases and in turn improve health-related quality of life [ Blanchard et al., 2004

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Amy L. McFarland

Research investigating the relationship between physical environments and various aspects of quality of life have found that, “people with access to nearby natural settings have been found to be healthier overall than other individuals” including

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Mu-Chuan Lin, Candice Shoemaker* and Nancy Gyurcsik

Older adults are not sufficiently physically active and do not consume sufficient fruits and vegetables to achieve health benefits, such as an improved health-related quality of life (HRQL). As a result, an innovative gardening intervention, comprised of stretching exercises, the teaching of home garden knowledge and skills, and the preparation and taste testing of fruits and vegetables, was developed to target increased: (a) confidence to garden and to consume fruits and vegetables, (b) physical activity, (c) fruit and vegetable consumption, and (d) HRQL. Seven older adults, aged 60 years or older, participated in the gardening intervention and 10 older adults participated in the control group during the fall. Measures of confidence, physical activity (i.e., gardening), fruit and vegetable consumption, and HRQL were obtained at baseline and at the end of the 10-week program. Findings revealed that, at baseline, intervention participants had significantly higher confidence to garden compared to control participants but at end-program intervention and control participants did not significantly differ in any of the outcome variables. Bivariate findings also revealed that intervention participants who had higher confidence to garden or to consume fruits and vegetables at baseline also gardened more at end-program. Thus, interventions targeting confidence to garden and to consume fruits and vegetables may be effective in improving gardening (i.e., physical activity) behavior. Findings also suggest that seasonal change may be one influential moderator of the gardening program on confidence and gardening and fruit and vegetable consumption behavior change. Future research should examine the impact of the program in different seasons to clarify the effects.

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Andrea Dravigne, Tina Marie Waliczek, R.D. Lineberger and J.M. Zajicek

views of green spaces on employee perceptions of job satisfaction. When participants were asked “Overall, how would you rank your overall quality of life,” ANOVA tests, again, indicated statistically significant differences ( P = 0.001) ( Table

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T.M. Waliczek, Roxanne Boyer and J.M. Zajicek

Texas Master Gardeners participating in an Annual Master Gardener Advanced Training Conference held in College Station, Texas, in June 2000 were asked to complete a survey investigating the impact of the Master Gardener program on perceptions of quality of life and motivations for becoming a Master Gardener. A retrospective pretest/posttest was used to compare the gardeners' current perceptions and their perceptions prior to becoming a Master Gardener. After becoming Master Gardeners, participants reported statistically significant improvements in areas relating to quality of life including physical activity, social activity, self-esteem, and nutrition. Comparisons between demographic characteristics and perceived quality of life scores showed no significant differences. Reasons associated with gaining horticultural information were the primary motivations for becoming a Master Gardener.

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T.M. Waliczek, J.M. Zajicek and R.D. Lineberger

A survey based on the Life Satisfaction Inventory A (LSIA) was used to investigate gardeners' and nongardeners' perceptions of life satisfaction. The LSIA was developed in 1961 by Neugarten and measures five components of quality of life including zest for life, resolution and fortitude, congruence between desired and achieved goals, high physical, psychological and social self-concept, and a happy optimistic mood tone. The survey was posted for four months on one of the largest online resources for Texas Master Gardeners within the Aggie Horticulture network, the Texas Master Gardener Web page (http:aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/mastergd/mg.html). During the 4 months, 402 responses were gathered. Additionally, identical `paper/pencil' format surveys were distributed to garden, church, social and community groups with about 400 responses received. In each group of participants, respondents differentiated themselves as gardeners or nongardeners by responding positively or negatively to the survey question, Do you garden? Results indicated statistically significant differences in comparisons of the overall life satisfaction scores with gardeners receiving higher mean scores indicating more positive results on the LSIA. When responses to individual statements were analyzed, results indicated statistically significant differences on 20% of the statements. Differences were detected on statements relating to energy levels, optimism, zest for life, and physical self-concept with gardeners answering more positively on all statements when compared to nongardeners' responses. Additionally, gardeners rated their overall health and their physical activity levels higher than did nongardeners.

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Tom Barnicle and Karen Stoelzle Midden

This study investigated the effects of indoor horticulture activities on the current psychological well-being of older people in two long-term care facilities over a 7-week period. Thirty-one participants at one facility served as the control group. Thirty-one participants at another facility served as the horticulture group. Participants in both facilities continued with their normal daily routine and activities over the 7-week period; however, the horticulture group participated in a 1-hour horticulture activity session once a week over the 7-week period and the control group did not. The control group and horticulture group did not differ significantly in psychological well-being prior to the start of the study. After the 7-week program, the horticulture group had a significant increase in psychological well-being, whereas the control group had a slight decrease in psychological well-being. The results of this study indicate that horticulture activities may have a beneficial effect on the current psychological well-being of older people in a long-term care facility.