Advanced search
1 file | 1.59 MB Add to list

Residential green space and child intelligence and behavior across urban, suburban, and rural areas in Belgium : a longitudinal birth cohort study of twins

(2020) PLOS MEDICINE. 17(8).
Author
Organization
Abstract
Why was this study done? This study examines residential surrounding green space in association with intelligence and behavior in a study area that includes a spectrum of urban to rural environments. Previous studies mainly focused on urban areas, whereas only a few studies have explored differences in the effect of green space on cognition in nonurban settings. Understanding the health disparities that exist between urban and rural environments is essential for maintaining and improving human well-being in a rapidly urbanizing world. What did the researchers do and find? This longitudinal birth cohort study of twins assessed intelligence in 620 children between 7 and 15 years old. Our results indicate that residential green space is especially beneficial for intellectual and behavioral development of children living in an urban environment. What do these findings mean? We show that low residential green space in urban children is associated with a "shift" towards a higher incidence of low IQ demonstrating the public health impact of our findings. Background Exposure to green space has beneficial effects on several cognitive and behavioral aspects. However, to our knowledge, no study addressed intelligence as outcome. We investigated whether the level of urbanicity can modify the association of residential green space with intelligence and behavior in children. Methods and findings This study includes 620 children and is part of the East Flanders Prospective Twin Survey (EFPTS), a registry of multiple births in the province of East Flanders, Belgium. Intelligence was assessed with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R) in 620 children (310 twin pairs) between 7 and 15 years old. From a subset of 442 children, behavior was determined based on the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Prenatal and childhood residential addresses were geocoded and used to assign green space indicators. Mixed modeling was performed to investigate green space in association with intelligence and behavior while adjusting for potential confounding factors including sex, age, parental education, neighborhood household income, year of assessment, and zygosity and chorionicity. We found that residential green space in association with both intelligence and behavior in children was modified by the degree of urbanicity (p< 0.001). In children living in an urban environment, multivariable adjusted mixed modeling analysis revealed that an IQR increment of residential green space (3,000-m radius) was associated with a 2.6 points (95% CI 1.4-3.9;p< 0.001) higher total intelligence quotient (IQ) and 2.0 points (95% CI -3.5 to -0.4;p= 0.017) lower externalizing behavioral score. In children residing in a rural or suburban environment, no association was found. A limitation of this study is that no information was available on school location and the potential for unmeasured confounding (e.g., time spend outdoors). Conclusions Our results indicate that residential green space may be beneficial for the intellectual and the behavioral development of children living in urban areas. These findings are relevant for policy makers and urban planners to create an optimal environment for children to develop their full potential.
Keywords
POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC-HYDROCARBONS, AIR-POLLUTION, SINGLETON DIFFERENCES, COGNITIVE-DEVELOPMENT, PRENATAL EXPOSURE, PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY, HEALTH, STRESS, BIODIVERSITY, ASSOCIATION

Downloads

  • pmed.1003213.pdf
    • full text (Published version)
    • |
    • open access
    • |
    • PDF
    • |
    • 1.59 MB

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Bijnens, Esmée, et al. “Residential Green Space and Child Intelligence and Behavior across Urban, Suburban, and Rural Areas in Belgium : A Longitudinal Birth Cohort Study of Twins.” PLOS MEDICINE, vol. 17, no. 8, 2020, doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1003213.
APA
Bijnens, E., Derom, C., Thiery, E., Weyers, S., & Nawrot, T. (2020). Residential green space and child intelligence and behavior across urban, suburban, and rural areas in Belgium : a longitudinal birth cohort study of twins. PLOS MEDICINE, 17(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003213
Chicago author-date
Bijnens, Esmée, Catherine Derom, Evert Thiery, Steven Weyers, and Tim Nawrot. 2020. “Residential Green Space and Child Intelligence and Behavior across Urban, Suburban, and Rural Areas in Belgium : A Longitudinal Birth Cohort Study of Twins.” PLOS MEDICINE 17 (8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003213.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Bijnens, Esmée, Catherine Derom, Evert Thiery, Steven Weyers, and Tim Nawrot. 2020. “Residential Green Space and Child Intelligence and Behavior across Urban, Suburban, and Rural Areas in Belgium : A Longitudinal Birth Cohort Study of Twins.” PLOS MEDICINE 17 (8). doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1003213.
Vancouver
1.
Bijnens E, Derom C, Thiery E, Weyers S, Nawrot T. Residential green space and child intelligence and behavior across urban, suburban, and rural areas in Belgium : a longitudinal birth cohort study of twins. PLOS MEDICINE. 2020;17(8).
IEEE
[1]
E. Bijnens, C. Derom, E. Thiery, S. Weyers, and T. Nawrot, “Residential green space and child intelligence and behavior across urban, suburban, and rural areas in Belgium : a longitudinal birth cohort study of twins,” PLOS MEDICINE, vol. 17, no. 8, 2020.
@article{8715375,
  abstract     = {{Why was this study done? This study examines residential surrounding green space in association with intelligence and behavior in a study area that includes a spectrum of urban to rural environments. Previous studies mainly focused on urban areas, whereas only a few studies have explored differences in the effect of green space on cognition in nonurban settings. Understanding the health disparities that exist between urban and rural environments is essential for maintaining and improving human well-being in a rapidly urbanizing world. What did the researchers do and find? This longitudinal birth cohort study of twins assessed intelligence in 620 children between 7 and 15 years old. Our results indicate that residential green space is especially beneficial for intellectual and behavioral development of children living in an urban environment. What do these findings mean? We show that low residential green space in urban children is associated with a "shift" towards a higher incidence of low IQ demonstrating the public health impact of our findings. Background Exposure to green space has beneficial effects on several cognitive and behavioral aspects. However, to our knowledge, no study addressed intelligence as outcome. We investigated whether the level of urbanicity can modify the association of residential green space with intelligence and behavior in children. Methods and findings This study includes 620 children and is part of the East Flanders Prospective Twin Survey (EFPTS), a registry of multiple births in the province of East Flanders, Belgium. Intelligence was assessed with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R) in 620 children (310 twin pairs) between 7 and 15 years old. From a subset of 442 children, behavior was determined based on the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Prenatal and childhood residential addresses were geocoded and used to assign green space indicators. Mixed modeling was performed to investigate green space in association with intelligence and behavior while adjusting for potential confounding factors including sex, age, parental education, neighborhood household income, year of assessment, and zygosity and chorionicity. We found that residential green space in association with both intelligence and behavior in children was modified by the degree of urbanicity (p< 0.001). In children living in an urban environment, multivariable adjusted mixed modeling analysis revealed that an IQR increment of residential green space (3,000-m radius) was associated with a 2.6 points (95% CI 1.4-3.9;p< 0.001) higher total intelligence quotient (IQ) and 2.0 points (95% CI -3.5 to -0.4;p= 0.017) lower externalizing behavioral score. In children residing in a rural or suburban environment, no association was found. A limitation of this study is that no information was available on school location and the potential for unmeasured confounding (e.g., time spend outdoors). Conclusions Our results indicate that residential green space may be beneficial for the intellectual and the behavioral development of children living in urban areas. These findings are relevant for policy makers and urban planners to create an optimal environment for children to develop their full potential.}},
  articleno    = {{e1003213}},
  author       = {{Bijnens, Esmée and Derom, Catherine and Thiery, Evert and Weyers, Steven and Nawrot, Tim}},
  issn         = {{1549-1277}},
  journal      = {{PLOS MEDICINE}},
  keywords     = {{POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC-HYDROCARBONS,AIR-POLLUTION,SINGLETON DIFFERENCES,COGNITIVE-DEVELOPMENT,PRENATAL EXPOSURE,PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY,HEALTH,STRESS,BIODIVERSITY,ASSOCIATION}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{8}},
  pages        = {{20}},
  title        = {{Residential green space and child intelligence and behavior across urban, suburban, and rural areas in Belgium : a longitudinal birth cohort study of twins}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003213}},
  volume       = {{17}},
  year         = {{2020}},
}

Altmetric
View in Altmetric
Web of Science
Times cited: