New Study Examines Residential Greenness and Substance Use among Youth and Young Adults
A team of researchers led by Evan Wiley with Saverio Stranges, Jason Gilliland, Kelly Anderson, and Jamie Seabrook recently published a study entitled: “Residential greenness and substance use among youth and young adults: Associations with alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use.”
Research has identified positive associations between green space and physical and mental health outcomes. Substance use outcomes, however, have received considerably less attention. This study investigates the association between residential greenness and substance use through an analysis of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use among youth and young adults.
This study utilized three waves (2016–2018) of the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), as well as residential greenness data from the Canadian Urban Environmental Health Consortium (CANUE). Multinomial logistic regression was used to explore variation in the pattern of substance use between greenness quartiles. The sample included 14,070 youth and young adults (15–25 years).
The team found that residential greenness was not associated with alcohol use in general but was associated with lower odds of frequent binge drinking. Residential greenness was also associated with lower odds of tobacco use and greater odds of marijuana use.
This study provides evidence that residential greenness is associated with patterns of substance use. The strength and direction of association, however, is highly contingent upon the substance under investigation. Living in greener neighborhoods may confer certain benefits to substance use and abuse among youth and young adults.
Citation: Evan R. Wiley, Saverio Stranges, Jason A. Gilliland, Kelly K. Anderson, and Jamie A. Seabrook. “Residential greenness and substance use among youth and young adults: Associations with alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use.” Environmental Research (2022); https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2022.113124