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Universidad Veracruzana. Xalapa, Ver. Palabras clave: Abstract The present study was carried out with high ambientwl students from Xalapa, Mexico. Its aim was to identify and compare the perceived restorativeness in their ambuental environments according to the attention restoration theory. This work is based on a non-probabilistic sample of students from seven consecuencias de la contaminacion ambiental yahoo dating schools. The results proved that green areas were the rest spaces with major restorative qualities and that the students' favorite rest places possessed more restorative qualities than other places.
In regards to the gender distribution in some schools, males outnumbered females in the sample and in others the opposite applied. The mean age presented significant differences.
School F had the highest mean of all. Grade averages also presented significant differences, with schools C and D reporting the highest averages. The fact that students at schools in the city center mainly schools B and C are dependent on parents with higher educational levels is noteworthy.
Most used rest spaces in schools The answers given by participants regarding the rest spaces they use were grouped in six major categories: Classrooms, 2. Halls or balconies outside classrooms, 3. Courtyards, patios, or playing fields, 4. Green areas, 5. Eating areas or cafeterias.
Other spaces libraries, stairwells, school entrances. Rest spaces in schools and perceived restorativeness For comparative analysis of restorativeness in the categories of rest spaces, the Kruskal-Wallis was used. It was necessary to exclude category 6, due to the variety of answers given, which reflected highly specific characteristics of the schools. To determine which rest spaces scored highest for each restorative characteristic, comparisons were made between the mean ranges of each of the categories for rest spaces grouping data from the 7 schools , for each factor in the scale and the total scale, by means of the Mann-Whitney U test.
Table 3 shows the statistically significant differences found between adjacent rest spaces, in the order of their mean ranks. On the other hand, classrooms were the spaces with the lowest perceived restorativeness, which received the lowest scores for all dimensions on the scale and for total restorative potential. Perceived restorativeness in relation to students' sociodemographic characteristics To determine whether there were gender-based differences in the perceived restorativeness of school spaces, an analysis was conducted by means of the Mann-Whitney U test, which found that males perceive greater fascination mean rank: For the other dimensions, no statistically significant differences were found.
In all cases, the mean rank was higher for older students. Significant differences were also found in relation to the educational level of mothers as heads of households. When the total restorative potential was analyzed using the rest of the sociodemographic variables studied, no statistically significant differences were found.
Favorite vs. The least favorite spaces were classrooms 9. Also, Finally, 7. To determine whether rest spaces coincide with students' favorite places in schools, analyses of correlation by category were conducted. A significant contingency coefficient 0. To determine whether there were differences in perceived restorativeness between students who rested in their favorite places and those who rested elsewhere, an analysis was conducted by means of the Mann-Whitney Utest.
School size and perceived restorativeness In order to determine if there were differences between small and large schools in relation to levels of perceived restorative potential, schools were grouped based on their size in two categories: Extent of green areas and perceived restorativeness As an important part of the theoretical considerations supporting this investigation, the restorativeness of schools based on their percentage of total extent of green areas was analyzed.
For this purpose, four groups were defined: Schools without green areas only potted plants , 2. The specific differences between groups were analyzed by means of the Mann- Whitney Utest. This was the overview, and only three schools A, B, and C had no spaces in the category of green areas. The study shows that green areas are the school spaces with the greatest perception of fascination, compatibility, extension, and total restorative potential. To interpret this, it is important to consider that the activities for which spaces are used are important to perception of those qualities.
Some comments collected on those spaces clearly confirm this: On the other hand, it was found that classrooms are the school spaces that receive the lowest scores for restorativeness and are at the bottom among preferred spaces, but are located where a majority of students spend their free time. Some comments about classrooms are: It's almost all white and it almost always feels overcrowded".
Of the five main categories considered for rest spaces, the spaces preferred by students are courtyards, patios, or playing fields These findings allow us to observe that the relationship between use of rest spaces and preference is inverted in some cases, where the most widely used rest space classroom , is also the one least often mentioned as favorite and the preferred space courtyards, patios, or playing fields is in fourth place in use for rest, among the five categories. This suggests that, although schools have different settings, short rest times do not allow students to get to distant sites which may have greater restorativeness.
It is important to mention that outdoor spaces are used by some students who take part in athletic activities such as soccer and basketball. Therefore, it is proposed for future studies examining psychological restorativeness of school spaces, to consider the differences of access and time such athletic activities entail, where only some students are involved.
Mejia-Castillo and Lagunes-Cordoba found that halls or corridors outside classrooms are spaces where large numbers of students spend their rest time. The study found that those settings allow the perception of extent and therefore contribute greatly to perceived total restorative potential. The findings presented here confirm that those spaces are widely used by students, occupying the second place in the use of rest spaces, only behind classrooms.
However, their perceived restorativeness is below spaces like green areas and courtyards. In terms of the analysis by specific dimensions of restorativeness, the dimension compatibility did not show statistically significant differences due to school size, extent of green areas, and sociodemographic variables.
Given that the scale was designed mainly with questions about the possible relationship with others in their rest spaces, it is suggested that a physical space becomes compatible to the extent that it offers opportunities for social interaction, regardless of the type of setting, size, extent of green areas, and gender of participants. For that reason, young people need school spaces that contribute to interaction with others. The complementary remarks on the study which describe rest spaces constantly cite this relationship: Sociology has also offered explanations of unequal use of space between men and women Canton, ; Shilling, , and future studies would be well advised to incorporate theoretical models from that perspective.
Another sociodemographic variable that presents significant differences is age. Older students perceive greater restorativeness in school. In this regard, given that data were collected from two classes of high school students, it is probable that the time students have been in school contributes to such positive perceptions; however, specific studies are needed to draw conclusions. The results presented here show that students with women heads of family who have lower educational levels and consequently, lower socioeconomic levels obtain higher levels of perceived restorativeness.
The General Theory of Adaptation Nelson, explains that people adapt to certain everyday environments, which could help to explain the fact that coming from spaces with material inadequacies and deficiencies may contribute to a favorable perception of the educational facilities under consideration in this study. It is important to mention that several students at different schools report as their favorite spaces a wide variety of places libraries, lecture halls, and reading areas, among others.
However, for reasons of rules and regulations, most of them lack the opportunity to spend their rest time there. School size was another relevant variable in this study. Large schools scored higher than small schools on fascination, being away, and total restorative potential. Regarding fascination, it is inferred that a large space may provide a greater variety of stimuli and situations that attract students' involuntary attention and greater opportunities to distance themselves from things that demand voluntary attention.
In relation to being away, large schools allow students to isolate themselves from sources of tension in their free time. Finally, there is a clear difference in perceived restorativeness between schools with and without green areas. This does not have a simple explanation and our data do not allow us to attribute these differences to a specific situation.
It is possible that, aside from the extent of green areas, care, number and size of trees and bushes, presence of litter, and others, may influence the perceived restorativeness of green areas; these factors should be studied in future investigations. The study presented here offers an overview of the conditions found in high schools in a Mexican city, and it was found that the schools studied have widely varying characteristics. Analysis with the dimensions of Attention Restoration Theory allows concluding that the school spaces studied may favor students' psychological restoration and, in general, enhance their wellbeing.
Some preferred spaces which students lack access such as libraries and some green areas, among others may play the role of restorative environments and promoters of mental health. The study shows that well-kept green areas and large spaces boost perceived restorative potential in schools, and therefore allow affirming that those characteristics may contribute to students' cognitive and emotional recovery.
Finally, the data obtained may help stakeholders analyze the conditions of educational facilities and propose solutions to spatial and temporal limitations, which may affect students' psychological recovery. Collado, S. Estrada, C. Revista Latinoamericana de Medicina Conductual, 1, Han, K. Environment and Behavior, 41 5 , Hartig, T. Guest Editors' Introduction: Restoration environments. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 23 2 , A measure of restorative quality of environments.
Scandinavian Housing y Planning Research, 14, Restorative Effects of Natural Environment Experiencies. Environment and Behavior, 23 1 , Effect of urban vegetation on psychological restorativeness.
Psychological Reports, 96, Recuperado de http: Kaplan, R. The experience of nature: Nueva York: Cambridge University Press. Kaplan, S. The restorative benefits of nature: Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15, Creating a larger role for environmental psychology: The reasonable person model as an intergrative framework.
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