USC Environmental Health Centers

Current news, events and research projects of the Environmental Health Centers based at USC

References: Children's Health and Urban Parks

The following references are cited in our Children's Health and Urban Parks infographic, which can be found here.

Use of and access to parks promotes health:

Physical health
Physical Activity 

Gómez, J. E., Johnson, B. A., Selva, M., et al. (2004). Violent crime and outdoor physical activity among inner-city youth. Preventive Medicine, 39(5), 876–881.

Roemmich, J. N., Epstein, L. H., Raja, et al. (2006). Association of access to parks and recreational facilities with the physical activity of young children. Preventive Medicine, 43, 437–441.

Heart Disease and Diabetes

Maas, J., Dillen, S. M. E. Van, Verheij, R. A., et al. (2009). Health & Place Social contacts as a possible mechanism behind the relation between green space and health. Health & Place, 15, 586–595.

Maas, J., Verheij, R. A., Vries, S. De, et al. (2009). Morbidity is related to a green living environment. J Epidemiol Community Health, 63, 967–973.


Wolch, J., Jerrett, M., Reynolds, K., et al. (2011). Health & Place Childhood obesity and proximity to urban parks and recreational resources : A longitudinal cohort study. Health & Place, 17(1), 207–214.

Mental health
Emotional Well-Being

Barton, J. O., & Pretty, J. (2010). What is the Best Dose of Nature and Green Exercise for Improving Mental Health ? A Multi-Study Analysis. Environ. Sci. Technol, 44(10), 3947–3955.


Hartig, T., Mang, M., & Evans, G. W. (1991). Restorative Effects of Natural Environment Experiences. Environment and Behavior, 23(1), 3–26.

Cognitive health
Test Scores

Pan, W., Adamkiewicz, G., Wu, C., et al. (2014). Linking Student Performance in Massachusetts Elementary Schools with the “‘ Greenness ’” of School Surroundings Using Remote Sensing. PloS One, 9(10), 1–9.

Attention and Understanding

Dadvand, P., Nieuwenhuijsen, M. J., et al. (2015). Green spaces and cognitive development in primary schoolchildren. PNAS, 112(26).

Behavior Problems

Amoly, E., Dadvand, P., Forns, J., et al. (2014). Green and blue spaces and behavioral development in Barcelona schoolchildren: the BREATHE project. Environmental Health Perspectives, 122(12), 1351–8.

Younan, D., Tuvblad, C., Li, L., et al. (2016). Environmental Determinants of Aggression in Adolescents: Role of Urban Neighborhood Greenspace. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 55(7), 591–601.


Taylor, Andrea Faber, Kuo, Frances E., et al. (2002). Views of nature and self-discipline: evidence from inner city children. VIEWS OF NATURE AND SELF-DISCIPLINE : EVIDENCE FROM INNER CITY CHILDREN. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 22, 49–63.

ADHD Symptoms

Kuo, F. E. (2009). Children With Attention Deficits Concentrate Better After Walk in the Park. Journal of Attention Disorders, 12(5), 402–409.

Local parks and green space benefit neighborhoods


Sugiyama, T., Leslie, E., & Owen, N. (2008). Associations of neighbourhood greenness with physical and mental health : do walking , social coherence and local social interaction explain the relationships ? J Epidemiol Community Health, 62(9), 6–11.

Community Connectivity

Maas, J., Dillen, S. M. E. Van, Verheij, R. A., et al.(2009). Health & Place Social contacts as a possible mechanism behind the relation between green space and health. Health & Place, 15, 586–595.

Less Background Noise

Gidl, A., & Ohrstr, E. (2007). Noise and well-being in urban residential environments : The potential role of perceived availability to nearby green areas. Landscape and Urban Planning, 83, 115–126.

Sense of Peace and Tranquility 

Kaplan, S., & Kaplan, R. (2003). Health , Supportive Environments , and the Reasonable Person Model. American Journal of Public Health, 93(9), 1484–1489.

Cools Down Neighborhoods

Cummins, S. K., & Jackson, R. J. (2001). THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND CHILDREN’S HEALTH. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 48(5), 1241–1252.

Less Air Pollution

Nowak, D. J., Crane, D. E., & Stevens, J. C. (2006). Air pollution removal by urban trees and shrubs in the United States. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 4, 115–123.

Disparities: Access to and locations of parks

Wolch, J., Wilson, J. P., & Fehrenbach, J. (2005). Parks and Park Funding in Los Angeles : An Equity- Mapping Analysis. Urban Geography, 26(1), 4–35.

Su, J. G., Jerrett, M., Nazelle, A. De, et al. (2011). Does exposure to air pollution in urban parks have socioeconomic , racial or ethnic gradients ? Environmental Research, 111, 319–328.
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