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Environmental Determinants of Aggression in Adolescents: Role of Urban Neighborhood Greenspace
Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, Los Angeles, USA.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8768-6954
Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.
Program in Public Health, University of California, Irvine College of Health Sciences, Irvine, USA.
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2016 (English)In: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, ISSN 0890-8567, E-ISSN 1527-5418, Vol. 55, no 7, 591-601 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: Neighborhood greenspace improves mental health of urban-dwelling populations, but its putative neurobehavioral benefits in adolescents remain unclear. We conducted a prospective study on urban-dwelling adolescents to examine the association between greenspace in residential neighborhood and aggressive behaviors.

Method: Participants (n = 1,287) of the Risk Factors for Antisocial Behavior Study, a multi-ethnic cohort of twins and triplets born in 1990 to 1995 and living in Southern California, were examined in 2000 to 2012 (aged 9-18 years) with repeated assessments of their aggressive behaviors by the parent-reported Child Behavior Checklist. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from satellite imagery was used as a proxy for residential neighborhood greenspace aggregated over various spatiotemporal scales before each assessment. Multilevel mixed-effects models were used to estimate the effects of greenspace on aggressive behaviors, adjusting for within-family/within-individual correlations and other potential confounders.

Results: Both short-term (1- to 6-month) and long-term (1- to 3-year) exposures to greenspace within 1,000 meters surrounding residences were associated with reduced aggressive behaviors. The benefit of increasing vegetation over the range (∼0.12 in NDVI) commonly seen in urban environments was equivalent to approximately 2 to 2.5 years of behavioral maturation. Sociodemographic factors (e.g., age, gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status) and neighborhood quality did not confound or modify these associations, and the benefits remained after accounting for temperature.

Conclusion: Our novel findings support the benefits of neighborhood greenspace in reducing aggressive behaviors of urban-dwelling adolescents. Community-based interventions are needed to determine the efficacy of greenspace as a preemptive strategy to reduce aggressive behaviors in urban environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 55, no 7, 591-601 p.
Keyword [en]
Adolescents, aggression, environment, epidemiolog, greenspace
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Psychology Pediatrics
Research subject
Psychology; Pediatrics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-51144DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2016.05.002ISI: 000378985200009PubMedID: 27343886OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-51144DiVA: diva2:945354
Note

Funding Agencies:

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) R21 ES022369  F31 ES025080

Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center 5P30ES007048

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) R01 MH058354

Available from: 2016-07-01 Created: 2016-07-01 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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