Biljana Milanović-Dobrota, Aleksandra Đurić-Zdravković, Mirjana Japundža-Milisavljević, Dragana Skočajić, Tamara Muić

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Therapeutic horticulture (TH) is a non-invasive support treatment in which participants enhance their well-being through active or passive involvement in plant and plant-related activities. Positive effects of TH are mainly noticed in children and youth with intellectual disability (ID), while the effects of TH on adults with ID have not been extensively studied. The aim of this study was to determine the impacts of TH on psycho-social aspects of functioning in adults with moderate ID in institutional settings. The sample included 68 adults with moderate ID of both genders. The participants were divided into an experimental group (N=33), that participated in a designed ten-week program TH, and a control group (N=35). The Social Skills Rating System – SSRS (Gresham & Eliot, 1990) was used to assess social skills and behavioral problems and Self-Efficacy for Gardening Scale was designed for assessing self-efficacy. We compared the results before and after the intervention. The obtained results showed a significant decrease in different forms of problem behaviors, and an improvement of social skills and self-efficacy in experimental group. Results of this study provide the empirical proof for positive effects of TH on the improvement of the psychosocial well-being of adults with moderate ID in institutional settings. However, further research is necessary.


moderate intellectual disability, adults, therapeutic horticulture, institutional settings

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