Teenagers Surrounded by Green Are Less Aggressive

  • 2016-07-07
  • Pacific Standard

New research finds yet another benefit to living in close contact with the natural environment.

It’s the call no parent wants to get: one from a school official, or, worse, a police officer, informing them their kid has gotten into yet another fight. This sort of belligerent behavior can be triggered in teenagers by everything from violent video games to divorce, but new research points to another, more subtle factor: whether they are growing up surrounded by trees and grass.

In a first-of-its-kind longitudinal study, researchers from the University of Southern California report urban adolescents who grow up in neighborhoods with more greenery are less likely to engage in aggressive behavior.

Importantly, this association “could not be explained by sociodemographic factors or neighborhood quality,” writes a research team led by Diana Younan and Jiu-Chiuan Chen. What’s more, it applied to both boys and girls, and teens of all races and ethnicities.