“To me, it's just natural to be in the garden”: A multi-site investigation of new community gardener motivation using Self-Determination Theory

Ashby Sachs*, Marion Tharrey, Nicole Darmon, Katherine Alaimo, Arianna Boshara, Alyssa Beavers, Jill Litt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We compare interviews with 30 new community gardeners in Denver, Colorado and Montpellier, France, using Self-determination theory, a general theory of motivation, to determine how new community gardeners may or may not have felt motivated based on psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Relatedness as a motivational feature carried through the interview data at both sites. Participants’ success or failure to relate to other gardeners was a major influence for how autonomous and competent as a community gardener they expressed feeling. As the evidence grows that community gardening is beneficial for health and wellbeing, our findings are critical to understanding how community gardening could serve as a health promotion strategy. With the presence of ongoing, friendly support from others, more individuals may adhere to this socially connective, nature-based practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100088
JournalWellbeing, Space and Society
Volume3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Community gardening
  • Motivation
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Self-determination theory
  • Social connectedness

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