Graduation Term


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Family and Consumer Sciences

Committee Chair

Julie Schumacher


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to investigate how community gardening participation impacts and benefits the health of various populations on their fresh produce consumption and physical activities. This study was designed to identify innovations to reduce the barriers of participation in community gardening. Methods: This study was approached via moderated mediation, which identifies the moderating effect on direct and indirect paths among variables. The predictor variable (X) was level of participation in community gardens, and the overall health outcome was regarded as the outcome variable (Y). Between X and Y, the variety of grown produce was considered as the mediator while the highest nutrition education was the moderator. Results: Analysis revealed that there were no significant statistical relationships regarding moderated mediation. However, the direct moderating effect between X and Y was revealed to be statistically significant (t = -2.2066, p < .05) at the mean of moderator. Another significant correlation was shown between the level of participation and the overall health outcome (coefficient = -.2716, p < .05). Conclusion: Overall, most regressions, mediation, and moderated mediation among benefits generated by community gardening were not significantly revealed in this study although the moderating effect of highest nutrition education was revealed. Perhaps the statistical insignificance of the data can be explained by the difference of research settings. Other studies investigating mediation or moderation of community gardens’ benefits applied intervention to the same group of individuals and therefore more apparent and clear development shown. Even though this study did not show that overall health outcome can keep improving as participation levels elevated in statistical sense, positive health impacts of community gardening were still revealed via community gardeners’ perceptions. This study also showed that nutrition education has potential to be considered as a moderator in community gardening to optimize disease management and prevention with a more comprehensive understanding. KEYWORDS: moderated mediation; community gardening; disease management; nutrition education; overall health outcome; level of participation; grown produce


Page Count