Associations Between Micro-neighborhood Greening and Child Maltreatment

Sokol RL, Bushman G, Gong CH, Rupp L, Ryan JP, Zimmerman MA. Associations Between Micro-neighborhood Greening and Child Maltreatment. Int. Journal on Child Malt. 5, 281–293 (2022).


We conducted a longitudinal observational study of 9873 micro-neighborhoods in a Midwestern city from 2015 to 2018 and estimated multilevel zero-inflated negative binomial models to evaluate if seasonal lawn maintenance of vacant properties was associated with a reduction in microneighborhoods’ annual summer maltreatment rates. We found a between-micro-neighborhood effect of maintenance whereby micro-neighborhoods where the entire area was maintained for the full duration of all summers had a maltreatment rate 0.43 (95% CI 0.25, 0.73) times that of micro-neighborhoods that received no maintenance. We also found a within-micro-neighborhood effect, whereby when a given micro-neighborhood had the entire area maintained the full duration of a summer, it was expected to have a maltreatment rate 0.43 (95% CI 0.19, 0.97) times that of when the same micro-neighborhood had no area maintained. Future cluster-randomized controlled trials are needed to determine if this association is causal.