Residential and school greenspace and academic performance: Evidence from the GINIplus and LISA longitudinal studies of German adolescents
Background: Few studies have reported the association between greenspace and academic performance at school level. We examined associations between both residential and school greenspace and individual school grades in German adolescents. Methods: German and maths grades from the latest school certificate, residential and school greenspace, and covariates were available for 1351 10 and 15 years old Munich children and 1078 Wesel children from two German birth cohorts - GINIplus and LISA. Residential and school greenspace was assessed by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), tree cover, and (in Munich only) proportion of agricultural land, forest, and urban green space in 500-m and 1000-m circular buffers. Longitudinal associations between each exposure-outcome pair were assessed by logistic mixed effects models with person and school as random intercepts and adjusted for potential confounders. Results: No associations were observed between any of the greenspace variables and grades in Wesel children. Several statistically significant associations were observed with German and maths grades in Munich children, however associations were inconsistent across sensitivity analyses. Conclusions: There is no evidence of an association of higher greenspace at residence, school or combined with improved academic performance in German adolescents from the GINIplus and LISA longitudinal studies. Higher residential or school greenspace does not appear to improve academic performance in 10- and 15-years old children from two study areas in Germany.