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Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected mental health and coping strategies, particularly among young Filipino adults. Evidence suggests that social isolation and extreme routine changes brought by the pandemic are associated with mental wellness issues, including depression, stress, and loneliness. Horticulture activities have emerged as a potential coping mechanism, supported by Roy's Adaptation Model and Kaplan's Attention Restoration Theory.
Material and Methods: This descriptive correlational study was conducted among 361 randomly selected young adult respondents (18-25 years) of the "Iloilo Plant Exchange" Facebook group. Data were obtained through a validated and reliability-tested three-part questionnaire, assessing demographics, horticulture activities, and mental wellness. Descriptive analysis employed frequency, percentage, means, and standard deviations, while inferential analysis utilized t-test, One-Way ANOVA, and Pearson's r at a 0.05 alpha level.
Results: Young adults exhibited a high extent of horticulture activities overall, with variations from moderate to high based on individual profiles. The mental wellness level during the pandemic was average, except for postgraduates who reported high levels. Higher educational attainment and family income were significantly associated with increased horticulture engagement. College and postgraduate respondents had significantly higher mental wellness levels compared to high school graduates. During the pandemic, a highly significant positive relationship was found between horticulture activities and mental wellness.
Conclusion: The study's findings suggest that promoting horticulture activities may enhance mental wellness among young adults during the pandemic, providing valuable insights for mental health interventions and policy development.
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