Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 246: Psychological Restorative Potential of a Pilot on-Campus Ecological Wetland in Malaysia

Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su14010246

Lai Kuan Lee
Nor Azazi Zakaria
Keng Yuen Foo

This study examines the perceptions and engagement tendencies of 788 university students, as well as their relationship with psychological distress, with respect to an on-campus ecological wetland. The students’ awareness, understanding, perceived importance, satisfaction level, and engagement tendency towards the ecological wetland were evaluated using a structured questionnaire. The psychological symptoms were assessed using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem and depression, anxiety, and stress scales, and the predictors of psychological distress were determined. The majority of the students were actively engaged (62.3%), aware (88.3%), and satisfied (51.0%) with the ecological wetland. Gender, age, educational attainment, engagement, perceived importance, and satisfaction level towards the ecological wetland were the predictors of psychological distress. The results outlined the environmental and mental restorative values of the ecological wetland in mediating psychological distress among the university students. These findings shed light on the necessity of preserving the sustainability and integrity of the on-campus ecological wetland. Longitudinal investigations to explore the restorative values of built environments and psychological wellbeing among high-risk populations are warranted.

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