2019 › Trails



Antisocial behaviour and externalizing problems: The greener the better? Does neighborhood greenness buffer the effects of stressful life events on externalizing behavior in late adolescence?

Authors: Weeland J, Laceulle OM, Nederhof E, Overbeek G, Reijneveld SA

We tested whether neighborhood greenness is a promotive and/or a protective factor in the development of adolescent externalizing behavior problems and explored a possible mechanism of its effects via respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) recovery after stress. Data from a longitudinal multi-method study on adolescents (N = 715) was used. Result showed that neighborhood greenness was neither a promotive nor a protective factor. However, adolescents who reported more stressful life events showed more externalizing behavior and –contrary to our expectation− this effect was stronger for adolescents who grew up in greener neighborhoods (vs. less green neighborhoods).