Author's School

Brown School

Author's Department

Social Work

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



We investigated the hypothesis that perception of psychological restorativeness during visits to coastal parks is modified by objective and perceived environmental conditions. Visitors (n=1,153) to California beaches completed a survey on perceived weather, environmental quality, and perceived restorativeness. We used generalized ordinal logistic models to estimate the association between environmental parameters and odds of perceiving higher levels of restorativeness. Visitors perceived greater restorativeness at beaches when ambient temperatures were at or below mean monthly temperatures and during low tides. The odds of perceiving the environment as more psychologically restorative were three times greater when visiting on days defined by government policy as having good air quality (OR=3.25; CI: 1.69–6.28). Visitors’ perception of air (OR=1.56; CI: 1.14–2.18) and water quality (OR=1.78; CI: 1.28–2.49) also affected perceived restorativeness; with perceived healthy days more restorative. Warmer temperatures with less space due to sea level rise and poor environmental quality will restrict restorative experiences in recreational facilities designed for urban populations.


This is a post-review author version. The final publication is available in the Journal of Environmental Psychology © Copyright 2011 Elsevier

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