Greenspace exposure and children behavior



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Greenspace exposure and children behavior

Urban greenspaces has always had a space within urban or metropolitan areas. Already in ancient times in the great Egyptian and Babylonian cities there were gardens and green areas, however these areas, intended for the nobility were purely private, generally they were gardens inside the great noble palaces.

Still in antiquity, in the period of Greek and then Roman hegemony, the gardens were relegated to the internal area of ​​the patrician palaces. In the Middle Ages, with the spread of monasteries, the Hortus Conclusus, or the enclosed garden, generally divided into four sections, with a cross-shaped plan was established, first in isolated places, then starting from the 13th century also in the municipalities of Central-Northern Italy and in the emerging European cities.

The Greenspace exposure and children behavior: A systematic review study, published on the The Science of the total environment, makes an interesting retrospective on this topic. The researchers explain: "We systematically reviewed the existing evidence on the association between long-term exposure to greenspace and behavioral problems in children according to the PRISMA 2020.

The review finally reached 29 relevant studies of which, 17 were cross-sectional, 11 were cohort, and one was a case-control. Most of the studies were conducted in Europe followed by the USA, and mainly from 2015 onwards. The overall quality of the studies in terms of risk of bias was fair according to the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale .

Thirteen studies (45%) had good or very good quality in terms of risk of bias. The strength and difficulty questionnaire was the most common outcome assessment instrument. Exposure to the greenspace in the reviewed studies was characterized based on different indices (availability, accessibility, and quality), mostly at residential address locations.

Association of exposure to different types of greenspace were reported for nine different behavioral outcomes inclu ding total behavioral difficulties, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms and severity, ADHD diagnosis, conduct problems, prosocial behavior, emotional symptome, peer-relationship problems, externalizing disorders, and internalizing disorders.

Most of the reported associations (except for conduct problems) were suggestive of beneficial association of greenspace exposure with children's behaviors; however, the studies were heterogeneous in terms of their exposure indicators, study design, and the outcome definition."