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Date of Award


Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Genevieve L. Y. Arnaut


In this study, 11 inmates from two different correctional institutions in Oregon were interviewed about their experiences of working full-time in a prison-based horticulture program. The interviews were coded and analyzed using a phenomenological methodology. Four overarching themes emerged, all of which were related to participants’ personal growth: healthy lifestyle, increased life skills, positive emotions, and positive attitudes. A socioecological model was developed to illustrate ways in which the participants’ areas of growth extended across four distinct domains: individual, interpersonal, environmental, and societal. Factors that supported or inhibited participants’ growth included solitude, negative interactions with others, characteristics of the prison environment, autonomy, fresh air, and connection with nature.

Available for download on Sunday, October 20, 2019