Contact with Nature can help ADHD children to cope with their symptoms. A state of the evidence and future lines of research

  • Francesca Di Carmine Sapienza University of Rome
  • Rita Berto LEAF – Laboratory of Affective Ecology, Department of Human and Social Sciences, University of Valle d’Aosta


Research within the environmental psychology area shows the benefits that Nature contact offers to typical children in terms of better mood, better social relations and on improved cognitive functioning. Although many psychological benefits in childhood have been highlighted by researchers from different backgrounds, atypical children have scarcely been included in such studies. We refer to children affected by Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Environments capable of restoring depleted resources such as attention might be of specific help, especially for those who struggle for attention as ADHD children do. Considering the scientific evidence that exposure to Nature offers attentional recovery, explained by Attention Restoration Theory (ART), we believe that a special attention needs to be given to ADHD children, whose core issue is attention depletion. ART presupposes that psychological restoration occurs while the person feels mentally fatigued, therefore ART might constitute the theoretical basis for the clinical aspects of attention in the ADHD frame. The purpose of this mini-review is to offer an overview on what has been done until now on restorative research among ADHD children and highlight new lines of research for the future by a description of new enquiries and final remarks for policy makers, parents and teachers in order to implement Nature-based interventions in the ADHD field. 

Original Papers