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Long-Term Ambient Temperature and Externalizing Behaviors in Adolescents.

Authors
  • Younan, Diana1
  • Li, Lianfa1
  • Tuvblad, Catherine2, 3
  • Wu, Jun4
  • Lurmann, Fred5
  • Franklin, Meredith1
  • Berhane, Kiros1
  • McConnell, Rob1
  • Wu, Anna H1
  • Baker, Laura A2
  • Chen, Jiu-Chiuan1
  • 1 Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California.
  • 2 Department of Psychology, University of Southern California Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Los Angeles, California.
  • 3 School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden. , (Sweden)
  • 4 Program in Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California.
  • 5 Sonoma Technology, Inc., Petaluma, California.
Type
Published Article
Journal
American journal of epidemiology
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2018
Volume
187
Issue
9
Pages
1931–1941
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwy104
PMID: 29788079
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The climate-violence relationship has been debated for decades, and yet most of the supportive evidence has come from ecological or cross-sectional analyses with very limited long-term exposure data. We conducted an individual-level, longitudinal study to investigate the association between ambient temperature and externalizing behaviors of urban-dwelling adolescents. Participants (n = 1,287) in the Risk Factors for Antisocial Behavior Study, in California, were examined during 2000-2012 (aged 9-18 years) with repeated assessments of their externalizing behaviors (e.g., aggression, delinquency). Ambient temperature data were obtained from the local meteorological information system. In adjusted multilevel models, aggressive behaviors significantly increased with rising average temperatures (per 1°C increment) in the preceding 1, 2, or 3 years (respectively, β = 0.23, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.00, 0.46; β = 0.35, 95% CI: 0.06, 0.63; or β = 0.41, 95% CI: 0.08, 0.74), equivalent to 1.5-3.0 years of delay in age-related behavioral maturation. These associations were slightly stronger among girls and families of lower socioeconomic status but greatly diminished in neighborhoods with more green space. No significant associations were found with delinquency. Our study provides the first individual-level epidemiologic evidence supporting the adverse association of long-term ambient temperature and aggression. Similar approaches to studying meteorology and violent crime might further inform scientific debates on climate change and collective violence.

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