Green Spaces as Healthy Places: Correlates of Urban Green Space Use in Singapore

Dillon, Denise, and Lee, Sean T.H. (2023) Green Spaces as Healthy Places: Correlates of Urban Green Space Use in Singapore. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20 (17). 6711.

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, when stress levels were heightened and social connections were threatened, a spike in green space visits was observed. Drawing upon the value–belief–norm (VBN) theory, which explains the influence of personal values and world view on perceived obligations to the environment and to action, relevant correlates were examined in relation to people’s psychological wellbeing in a bid to better elucidate this phenomenon. We aimed to explore the associations amongst a number of protective factors for psychological wellbeing and to examine the applicability of the VBN theory to wellbeing rather than environmental behaviour. Our research aim was to understand some of the correlates of the use of urban green spaces in Singapore during COVID-19. In total, 268 adult residents of Singapore completed an online survey measuring proximity/frequency of visits to green space, value orientations, nature connectedness, social connectedness, religious belief, spirituality and psychological wellbeing, along with sociodemographic variables such as age and gender. As predicted by the VBN theory, biospheric value orientation and spirituality were positively associated with nature connectedness. The nature connectedness association with psychological wellbeing was completely mediated by spirituality. Frequency of visits to nature was also positively associated with nature connectedness. Neither proximity to nature nor social connectedness were associated with nature connectedness. An altruistic value orientation was associated only with religious belief. Our results indicate that during uncertain times, people are drawing on either social or nature connections as coping mechanisms to fulfil psychological needs and enhance psychological wellbeing. Spirituality mediates this pathway for nature connectedness but not for social connectedness.

Item ID: 80274
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1660-4601
Keywords: value orientations; nature connectedness; social connectedness; religious belief; spirituality; psychological wellbeing; proximity to green space; frequency of visits to green space
Copyright Information: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2023 23:41
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5299 Other psychology > 529999 Other psychology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1306 Sport, exercise and recreation > 130603 Recreation and leisure activities (excl. sport and exercise) @ 30%
20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200401 Behaviour and health @ 70%
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