Research Finds Kids Who Live Near Green Spaces Are Less Aggressive

Impromptu picnics, kite flying excursions and fields big enough for your kids to run around and let out all of their built-up energy are just a few of the reasons why parks are the best. But according to a new study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, there's another very important one: Researchers found that kids who live near green spaces are more likely to be less aggressive.

This report comes from researchers at The University of California, who examined 1,287 adolescents who were twins or triplets born in the early '90s. They periodically asked parents to describe their children's behaviors between the years of 2000 and 2002, noting reports of fighting and screaming. What they found is that kids who lived near greenery (within 3,829 feet) tended to be less aggressive — and this applied to both short term (meaning one-, three- and six-month follow-ups) and long term living situations.

However, it's important to note that trees and grass alone might not translate to a happy life — there could be other factors at play. For instance, rich neighborhoods often have more greenery, which is why the team is recommending more vegetation be added to urban, lower-income neighborhoods as a result of these findings. Researchers estimate this could lead to a 12% reduction in clinically significant adolescent aggression. Plus, it'll make the world so much prettier. That's what we call a win-win.

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