Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Bernice Garnett


The use of gardening as a practice or intervention to create better health has shown promising physical and mental health outcomes (e.g., Garcia et al, 2018; Rochira, 2020; Soga et al, 2017). This phenomenological study explored participant experience in gardening interventions specifically designed for individuals with metabolic issues. Metabolic issues (e.g., obesity, hypertension, diabetes) in the United States have reached staggering rates with only one of eight Americans able to claim optimal metabolic health (Araújo et al., 2019). The University of Vermont’s (UVM) Gardening for Health provides individuals with metabolic issues an intervention in the garden that encompasses gardening, nutrition, and mindfulness education. In this study, I employed Bandura’s self-efficacy construct to explore the participant experience regarding confidence in gardening and potential future healthy behavior change. I used an interpretative phenomenological approach (IPA) to analyze the qualitative questionnaire data procured in UVM’s Gardening for Health post survey from 2020 (N=34) and 2021 (N=25). This study found evidence of increased self-efficacy in gardening and healthy behavior change due to strong implementation fidelity. Key words: Gardening, Structured Gardening, Therapeutic Horticulture, Implementation Fidelity, Behavior Change, Metabolic Syndrome, Self-Efficacy, f/v consumption



Number of Pages

149 p.

Available for download on Monday, December 02, 2024

Included in

Education Commons