Research Library

We provide detailed summaries and citations for peer-reviewed research articles as well as links to those that are publicly available, or to publishers’ websites when not publicly available. Access via an educational institution or payment may be required in some cases to access full studies and source documents.

Search Research Articles

USER’S GUIDE: Tips and a glossary of search terms

We represent the findings and interpretation of articles to the best of our ability and understanding of the authors' intent.
Start Year
End Year
Search exact keyword string
To include articles that include ANY rather than ALL of the above keywords, click here.


Gender of the population of interest
Check All Options
Age of the population of interest
Infancy (birth - 1 year)
Toddlerhood (1-3 years)
Early Childhood (3-5 years)
Middle Childhood (6-12 years)
Adolescence (13-18 years)
Young Adulthood (19-24 years)
Adult (24-64 years)
Seniors (65+)
Check All Options
Special Populations
Children with emotional or behavioral difficulties
Children with ADD/ADHD or other cognitive difficulties
Children with Autism
Children with physical disabilities
Pregnant women
Immigrant populations
Refugee populations
Survivors of disaster, trauma or war
Economically disadvantaged populations
Homeless Populations
Indigenous people
Check All Options
Demographics of U.S. population of interest
African American
American Indian or Alaska Native
Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
Asian American
Non-Hispanic White
Hispanic or Latino
Two or more (multi-ethnic persons)
Check All Options


Study Designs
Case Study
Correlational Study
True Experiment with random assignment
Quasi-experimental design
Qualitative data
Quantitative data
Theoretical/Conceptual Article
Research Summary
Systematic Literature Review
Participatory Research/Design
Program evaluation
Check All Options
City-level assessment
Neighborhood-level assessment
Wilderness/back country
Parks (local, city, regional)
National parks
National forests
National waterways
School, schoolyard, school garden
Nature preschool
Forest school
Camp (summer camp, family camp or other out-of-school time setting)
Informal environmental education setting (nature center, outdoor education center, zoo, museum)
Childcare center/preschool or grounds
Nature playground
Traditional playground
Childrens garden
Urban garden (e.g. community garden, "allotment")
Residential landscape or garden
Indoors (home, classroom, hospital room)
Healthcare setting
Check All Options
Forms of Nature Engagement
Environmental living context / green settings (e.g. green neighborhoods)
Free play in nature (e.g. building a fort in the woods)
Green exercise (e.g. taking exercise regimen outdoors)
Outdoor recreation (e.g. hiking, camping, sledding)
Outdoor play activity (e.g. playing tag, chasing, games)
Learning in nature - Academic subjects (e.g. math, reading)
Learning in nature - Environmental education
Learning in nature - Sustainability Education
Learning in nature - Place-based education
Learning in nature - Green schoolyards/school gardens
Learning in nature - Nature kindergartens/preschools/forest schools
Viewing nature- View out a window
Viewing nature- View through screen/technology
Back country adventure/travel
Engagement with animals other than pets (e.g. observing, caring for, confronting, etc.)
Gardening, agriculture, foraging
Volunteer and stewardship activities (e.g. trail work, stream clean-up)
Therapeutic use of nature (e.g. therapeutic animal, horticultural therapy, shinrin-yoku)
Technological nature (e.g. robotic pets, remote gardening)
Use of technology in nature (ipad, smart phone)
Nature engagement as a family
Day visit to a park
Fishing, hunting
Pet ownership
Intentional engagement with challenge/risk
Loose parts
Check All Options
Technology Used In Nature
Geocache device
Nature App
Scientific equipment
Check All Options


Physical Health Benefits
General health
Blood pressure
Physical activity
Physical fitness
Weight, body mass index, obesity
Immune function
Allergy Relief
Asthma relief
Birth outcomes
Vitamin D
Check All Options
Physical Health Risks
Animal bites
Asthma/respiratory problems
Traumatic injury (e.g. falls, fractures)
Poisonous plants
Sunburn/skin cancer
Stings/dermatological reactions
Check All Options
Mental Health Benefits
Mood enhancement (e.g. anxiety, depression)
Stress relief
Well-being / happiness
Check All Options
Mental Health Risks
Fear, anxiety resulting from nature
Check All Options
Academic Function
Engagement in school and learning
Attitudes toward school and learning
School attendance
Behavior in school
Academic achievement (e.g. grades, test scores, graduation rates)
Academic knowledge and skills (e.g. in science, math, social studies)
Check All Options
Occupational Function
Occupational function (e.g. performance on the job, development of job skills)
Check All Options
Cognitive Function
Attention skills
Attention restoration
Language development
Executive Function (mental control, self-regulation, decision-making)
Check All Options
Motor Function
Motor function (e.g. coordination, strength and skills)
Check All Options
Social/Emotional Function
Pro-social behavior (e.g. cooperation, helping behaviors)
Emotional regulation
Social connection/friendship
Family connectedness
Spiritual development (connectedness to something bigger, empathy, caring, sense of awe)
Communication skills
Reduced behavior problems
Check All Options
Neighborhood violence
Sense of security
Community social capital
Check All Options
Perceived agency/efficacy/competence
Check All Options
Play Behaviors and Styles
Play Behaviors and Styles
Check All Options
Conservation Values, Knowledge and Behaviors
Connection to nature or a natural place
Ecological/environmental identity
Pro-environmental ethics, values, attitudes
Environmental reasoning
Knowledge about conservation or the environment
Pro-environmental/stewardship behaviors
Civic involvement
Check All Options
Social Justice
Social Justice
Check All Options
Utilization of Nature
Access to nature (e.g. studies assessing who has access to what kind of green space)
Participation in nature (e.g. studies assessing the degree to which people are engaging in nature-based or outdoor activities)
Sustaining participation in nature
Check All Options


Barriers to Nature Engagement
Fear of nature
Lack of awareness of the benefits of nature
No interest/loss of interest
Accessibility issues (e.g. for the disabled)
Overscheduled time/perceived lack of time
Safety concerns (e.g. of traffic, strangers, crime, hunting, injury, etc.)
Device/technology/media/screen time use
Absence of or cost of programming
Equipment needed
Distance from nature opportunities (lack of nearby nature)
Lack of knowledge of local nature opportunities
Regulatory/licensure/liability/permitting concerns
Family restrictions/attitudes/beliefs
Peer pressure/peer antagonism (regarding obesity, ability, etc.)
Degraded environment
Lack of teacher knowledge and skill
Social exclusion (due to language differences, feelings of not being welcomed/accepted)
School restrictions - attitudes, schedules
Development (housing/land development)
Aversion to nature (by child, parent, teacher, etc.)
Check All Options


Physical activity or obesity
Community social capital
Social justice
Engaging communities/lifting up voices
Implications for Design, Planning or Policy
Cultural Ways of Knowing (e.g. indigenous knowledge)
Check All Options
Search articles that exactly match search tags checked above.

You're just two clicks away from
receiving C&NN News & Updates