Do various dimensions of exposure metrics affect biopsychosocial pathways linking green spaces to mental health? A cross-sectional study in Nanjing, China

Zhang, Jinguang and Liu, Yuhong and Zhou, Shuai and Cheng, Yingyi and Zhao, Bing (2022) Do various dimensions of exposure metrics affect biopsychosocial pathways linking green spaces to mental health? A cross-sectional study in Nanjing, China. Landscape and Urban Planning, 226. ISSN 0169-2046, DOI

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The theoretically indicated pathways linking green space (GS) exposure to mental well-being have been consistently examined. However, few studies have deciphered the association between multiple GS exposure metrics and biopsychosocial pathways. Here, we aimed to develop a systematic exposure framework addressing different aspects of GS, including one subjective metric (self-reported GS usage) and four objective metrics, namely, quantity-based GS availability, distance-based GS accessibility, quality-based GS attractiveness, and streetscape-based GS visibility. We then explored whether, or to what extent, these various exposure metrics affect the hypothesized paths: physical activity, social cohesion, stress, and environmental stressors (i.e., air quality and noise). A cross-sectional study was conducted using a population sample (n = 1984) from Nanjing, China. Spearman rank correlation was calculated to examine the relationship between various exposure metrics. A multivariate linear regression model was used to assess the association between GS exposure and self-reported mental well-being (i.e., WHO-5 scores). Structural equation modelling (SEM) techniques were further conducted to examine the parallel/serial mediation effects of GS exposure and mental well-being. The results showed the following: (1) multiple exposure metrics were only moderately to weakly correlated, all of which were significantly associated with respondents' self-rated mental well-being, mediated through one or more of the hypothesized pathways; (2) different exposure metrics significantly affected these mediating variables; structured GS exposure metrics were more associated with physical activity, while unstructured GS exposure metrics were more related to environmental stressors and mental stress; (3) in the parallel mediation model, stress is a relatively important mediator linking GS to mental well-being; the serial mediation model further indicated that physical activity, environmental stressors, and social cohesion worked as antecedents to reduce stress, which, in turn, was associated with better mental well-being. Our findings could help epidemiologists clarify the pathways and mechanisms by which GSs affect mental well-being, as well as assist urban planners in implementing health-based GS interventions.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Jiangsu Provinical Department of Science and Technology [SBK2022041803]
Uncontrolled Keywords: Urban nature; Public health; Exposure; Mediation analysis; Deep learning
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
R Medicine
T Technology > TE Highway engineering. Roads and pavements
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2023 07:38
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2023 07:38

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