Abstract The climate-violence relationship has been debated for decades, and yet most of the supportive evidence came 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) of the Risk Factors for Antisocial Behavior Study were examined in 2000–2012 (aged 9–18 years) with repeated assessments of their externalizing behaviors (aggression; delinquency). Ambient temperature data were obtained from the local Meteorological Information System. In adjusted multi-level models, aggressive behaviors significantly increased with rising average temperatures (per 1°C-increment) in preceding 1–3 years (β = 0.23, 95% CI: 0.00, 0.46; β = 0.35, 95% CI: 0.06, 0.63; β = 0.41, 95% CI: 0.08, 0.74; respectively), equivalent to 1.5–3 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 higher greenspace. 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 crimes may further inform scientific debates on climate change and collective violence. adolescence, aggression, ambient temperature, delinquency, environmental exposures, epidemiologic studies, longitudinal studies © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)
American Journal of Epidemiology – Oxford University Press
Published: May 21, 2018
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