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Ambient Temperature and Externalizing Behaviors of Adolescents in Southern California: A Longitudinal Analysis
University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, United States.
University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, United States.
University of Southern California Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, United States.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8768-6954
University of California, Irvine College of Health Sciences, United States.
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2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Introduction: The climate-violence relationship has been debated for over 20 years, primarily because the supportive evidence was either ecological in nature or based on cross-sectional data. We conducted an individual-level, longitudinal analysis to investigate the association between temperature and externalizing behaviors in an urban-dwelling population.

Methods: Participants (N=1287) of the Risk Factors for Antisocial Behavior Study, a multi-ethnic cohort of twins/triplets living in Southern California, were examined in 2000-2012 (aged 9 to 18 years) with repeated assessments of their aggressive and delinquent behaviors by the parent-reported Child Behavior Checklist. Ambient temperature was obtained from the local Meteorological Information System, with recordings from the closest site assigned to each geocoded residence. A monthly time-series from 1990 to 2012 was constructed and aggregated in 1-, 3-, and 6-month and 1-, 2-, and 3-year averages prior to each behavioral assessment. Multilevel mixed-effects models were used to estimate the effects of temperature, adjusting for within-family/within-individual correlations and other potential confounders.

Results: Statistically significant associations (all p<0.05) were found between aggression and average temperature aggregated over 6 months or longer. Increasing aggressive behaviors were associated with rising 6-month average temperatures. However, longer-term (1- to 3-year average) temperatures showed a non-linear U-shaped association, with less aggressive behaviors at moderate temperatures (15-20°C), but increasing aggression at higher or lower temperatures. No significant effects were found on delinquency.

Conclusions: Our study provides the first individual-level epidemiologic evidence supporting the adverse temperature effects on aggressive human behaviors. Similar approaches to studying violent crimes may further inform the scientific debates on climate changes and violence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
National Category
Environmental Sciences Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-55073OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-55073DiVA: diva2:1069929
Conference
28th Annual Conference, International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE 2016), Rome, Italy, September 1-4, 2016
Available from: 2017-01-30 Created: 2017-01-30 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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