Measuring Green Space Effects on Attention and Stress in Children and Youth

A Scoping Review


  • Brian Barger
  • Julia Torquati
  • Lincoln R. Larson
  • Jody Marie Bartz
  • Cassandra Johnson-Gaither
  • Andrew Gardner
  • Eric Moody
  • Steven Rosenberg
  • Anne Schutte
  • Margaret Murray
  • Bridgette M. Schram


children, green space, nature, tree canopy, attention restoration, stress reduction


This scoping review compiles 42 published studies measuring children’s attention and/or stress responses to green space settings. Attention and stress outcomes include objective (e.g., physiological) and subjective (rating scale) traditions. Attention studies had two distinct subjective measurement traditions, one measuring ADHD symptoms, the other measuring attention restoration theory constructs. Correlational studies were more likely to use subjective scales for outcomes whereas experimental studies more frequently used objective measures or a mix of objective and subjective measures. Care should be taken when interpreting and extending this literature as the comparability of outcome variables across studies is unclear.