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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 235; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030235

The Relationship between Neighbourhood Green Space and Child Mental Wellbeing Depends upon Whom You Ask: Multilevel Evidence from 3083 Children Aged 12–13 Years

1
Population Wellbeing and Environment Research Lab (PowerLab), School of Health and Society, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
2
Early Start Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
3
Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: William C. Sullivan and Chun-Yen Chang
Received: 3 January 2017 / Revised: 10 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 27 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Human Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [290 KB, uploaded 27 February 2017]

Abstract

Recent reviews of the rapidly growing scientific literature on neighbourhood green space and health show strong evidence for protective and restorative effects on mental wellbeing. However, multiple informants are common when reporting mental wellbeing in studies of children. Do different informants lead to different results? This study utilised nationally representative data on Goodman’s 25-item Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire reported by 3083 children (aged 12–13 years old), and their parents and teachers. Multilevel models were used to investigate whether similar associations between child mental wellbeing (as measured using the total difficulties score and the internalising and externalising subscales) and neighbourhood green space quantity and quality are obtained regardless of the informant. After adjustment for confounders, higher green space quantity and quality were associated with consistently more favourable child mental wellbeing on all three measures, regardless of the informant. However, associations with green space quantity were statistically significant (p < 0.05) only for the parent-reported total difficulties score and the internalising subscale. Significant associations with green space quality were consistently observed for both parent- and child-reported outcomes. Teacher-reported outcomes were not significantly associated with green space exposure. Future studies of green space and child health should acknowledge when different informants of outcomes could lead to different conclusions. View Full-Text
Keywords: child health; mental wellbeing; green space quantity; green space quality; Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire; Australia child health; mental wellbeing; green space quantity; green space quality; Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire; Australia
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Feng, X.; Astell-Burt, T. The Relationship between Neighbourhood Green Space and Child Mental Wellbeing Depends upon Whom You Ask: Multilevel Evidence from 3083 Children Aged 12–13 Years. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 235.

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