Types of greenspace and adolescent mental health and well-being in metropolitan London

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

February 24, 2023


The evidence suggests a link between greenspace and adolescent mental health. One limitation is the typically crude measure of greenspace quantity or greenness. We explored the roles of different types of greenspace in the mental health of 10- to 15-year-old adolescents living in London, using data from Understanding Society, a UK household longitudinal study. We used data on 1,879 adolescents from waves 1-8 (2009-2018). As some adolescents had observations at multiple waves, 4,217 observations were included. Mental health and well-being measures were Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire scores, self-esteem, and happiness. Proportions of green land cover, parks & gardens, natural & semi-natural urban greenspaces, outdoor sports facilities, and total green land use were measured in 500 m around postcodes. We ran linear regressions, stratified by age, adjusted for confounders, and accounting for Understanding Society’s complex sampling design. We did not find consistent results across analyses, but we identified patterns worth exploring further: older adolescents (13-15 years) seemed to ‘benefit’ more from greenspace than younger adolescents (10-12 years); and parks & gardens and outdoor sports facilities seemed to be most ‘beneficial’. Overall, however, no clear conclusions can be drawn, and findings need to be confirmed in future studies.

Published in

Cities & Health

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 7 , p.378 -397







Open Access

© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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