Benefit of Woodland and Other Natural Environments for Adolescents’ Cognition and Mental Health
This is the largest epidemiological study to report on the impact of natural-environment-type
exposure on cognitive development, mental health and overall well-being during adolescence.
Source: Maes, M.J.A., Pirani, M., Booth, E.R. et al. Benefit of woodland and other natural environments for adolescents’ cognition and mental health. Nat Sustain (2021).
A Systematic Review of the Efficacy of Equine Assisted Interventions on Psychological Outcomes
Three studies examined the benefits of an equine intervention for youth identified as being ‘at-risk’. The participants described increases in self-esteem, self-confidence and empathy as a result of the intervention.
Source: Elizabeth Kendall, Annick Maujean, Christopher A. Pepping, Martin Downes, Ali Lakhani, Jason Byrne & Kym Macfarlane (2015) A systematic review of the efficacy of equine assisted interventions on psychological outcomes, European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counseling, 17:1, 57-79, DOI
Mental Health Benefits of Nature-Based Recreation – A Systematic Review
The findings indicate the strong potential for nature-based recreation to positively affect mental health outcomes, such as wellbeing, cognition, resilience, and restoration as well as decrease levels of anxiety, depression, and stress.
Source: N. Qwynne Lackey, Deborah A. Tysor, G. David McNay, Leah Joyner, Kensey H. Baker & Camilla Hodge (2019): Mental health benefits of nature-based recreation: a systematic review, Annals of Leisure Research, DOI
The State of Animal-Assisted Interventions: Addressing the Contemporary Issues That Will Shape the Future
Review on the field of animal-assisted interventions (AAI) with a focus on the history, animal welfare and research that has been done and practice guidelines. Animals may have the ability to be empathic, which is a quality that may be key to how an animal interacts with a human to bring about therapeutic benefit.
Source: Fine AH, Beck AM, Ng Z. The State of Animal-Assisted Interventions: Addressing the Contemporary Issues That Will Shape the Future. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(20):3997.
How Equine-Assisted Activities Affect the Prosocial Behavior of Adolescents
“We strongly believe that the relationship humans build with horses shows them a way to build trust, acceptance, and understanding toward humans, as well. Our results suggest that young people who learn to listen to and take care of the horse can transfer this knowledge to intra-species communication and behavior, as well.”
Source: Pelyva IZ, Kresák R, Szovák E, Tóth ÁL. How Equine-Assisted Activities Affect the Prosocial Behavior of Adolescents. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Apr 24;17(8):2967. doi
The Potential of Human-Horse Attachment in Creating Favorable Settings for Professional Care: A Study of Adolescents’ Visit to a Farm
The results suggest that the presence of horses may activate the development of attachment in adolescents in the same way people do. The four criteria of an attachment bond— proximity maintenance, safe haven, secure base, and separation distress—may be fulfilled in the interaction between a human and a horse.
Source: Törmälehto E, Korkiamäki R. The Potential of Human–Horse Attachment in Creating Favorable Settings for Professional Care: A Study of Adolescents’ Visit to a Farm. Animals. 2020; 10(9):1707