Humanity itself, like other species of this planet, is a part of the complex and tangled web of nature; so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that scientists keep on looking for answers to the question: why are we here? Or the rephrase, what is our purpose in this planet?
And the latest study in the field is heralding a good news. It focuses on teens and the mother nature’s influence to humanity while growing up.
Researchers from the University of Southern California has published a paper claiming that urban teens growing up while surrounded by nature are less likely to be aggressive.
Scientists of the study followed 1,287 teens from 640 families in the City of Los Angeles; they assessed each at least twice between the ages of 9 to 18 for “aggressive behavior.” Parents of participants then filled out the Child Behavior checklist in which they report whether the child gets into fights, ruin things or threaten others. In the checklist, parents can choose on a scale from ‘never’ to ‘often true’ or ‘very true.’
The results suggest that teens with exposure to green space within 1,000 meters (from home) were linked to development with reduced aggressive behaviors, and the benefits of such was equivalent to approximately 2 to 2.5 years of behavioral maturation.
The research team also says that access to green space can reduce maternal stress, and it encourages physical activities which to me is something that can push teens away from crime and other untoward events.
In addition, they have found that places with more trees act as “buffer for ambient noise,” reduce air pollution levels, and green space in cities preserve the microbial biodiversity needed to drive immunoregulation. Green places can also optimize brain health.
It is safe to say that the results of having a green space near home depend on “many factors” like for instance, culture. And of course, kids need proper guidance at home and school, and not just having proximal access to places shaded by trees.