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presence of concomitant exposure to similar molar concentration of methylmercury

Given the potential for access to natural play spaces to mitigate some of the impacts of poor quality physical environments on low-income children’s cognitive and socioemotional development, further work in this area is warranted. A few North American studies suggest that children’s executive functioning may be enhanced by access to nearby natural outdoor play spaces (Evans, 2006), and a meta-analysis revealed that the greening of school yards across multiple sites in North America and Western Europe has been associated with improved academic performance and better psychological well being among pupils (Bell & Dyment, 2008).

Evaluations of outdoor nature experiences such as Outward Bound in high-income countries reveal consistent, positive associations with psychological well being (Hattie et al., 1997). Part of the apparent psychological benefits of access to outdoor play areas is likely related to enhanced physical activity, which has been consistently linked in both children and adults to proximate, outdoor recreational spaces (Evans et al., 2010). In a recent WHO study of approximately 1200 6- to 18-year-olds residing in eight European cities, the well-documented, inverse relation between household income and childhood obesity was explained, in part, by proximity to open green space. Children from wealthier households had greater access to open green spaces, which in turn was linked to higher levels of physical activity. The latter largely accounted for the inverse, household income – body mass index correlation (Evans et al., 2012).

Adults living in Los Angeles neighborhoods with more parks, independent of SES characteristics, perceived greater collective efficacy, an index reflecting greater social cohesion and social control (Cohen, Inagami, & Finch, 2008). There are also several studies showing that adults’ physiological stress responses to aversive stimuli are attenuated by natural surroundings (Evans, 2003). Thus some of the benefits of nearby nature for children may also operate via their parents. One study also revealed that children’s psychological reactions to stressful life events were attenuated by proximity to outdoor nature