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Human-animal-environment interactions in youth development

The aim is to measure the impacts of interventions that involve animals, plants, or nature on youth development, health, and wellbeing.

Nature-based interventions may promote positive development for youth by offering opportunities to engage in relationships that may elicit social and emotional skill building. These skills may in turn enhance adaptive emotion and behavior regulation. Green Chimneys, located in Brewster, NY, is a residential treatment and special education facility for students with serious psychosocial challenges. IHAC's research group is documenting and measuring the impacts of a wide variety of interventions across the campus that incorporate animals, plants, and nature. As part of this effort, numerous methodologies have been employed such as interviews, surveys, and behavioral observations of various stakeholders to reveal unique insights into the impacts and mechanisms of nature-based interventions at Green Chimneys and other complex clinical environments.