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The role of the physical environment in adolescent mental health

Mueller, MAE; Flouri, E; Kokosi, T; (2019) The role of the physical environment in adolescent mental health. Health & Place , 58 , Article 102153. 10.1016/j.healthplace.2019.102153.

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Abstract

The existing literature suggests an association between the physical environment and mental health but also complex relationships between the social and the physical environment as well as between objective and subjective measures of the environment. In this study, we attempted to explore the role of the residential neighbourhood's physical environment in adolescent mental health, taking this complexity into account. Using data on 3683 ten- to 15-year-olds from England and Wales who participated in Understanding Society, we investigated the role of neighbourhood greenspace and air pollution in adolescent mental health (measured with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) while controlling for measures of neighbourhood and family socio-economic disadvantage as well as subjective perceptions of social cohesion, crime, safety, and noise in the neighbourhood. In linear regression models, greenspace and air pollution could not predict mental health. However, fear of being a victim of crime was a consistent predictor of mental health and behaviour, indicating the essential role of young people's subjective experience of their neighbourhoods for their mental health and well-being.

Type: Article
Title: The role of the physical environment in adolescent mental health
DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2019.102153
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2019.102153
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Greenspace, Air pollution, Fear of crime, Mental health, Neighbourhood, Understanding society
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10077052
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