Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Some Green is Better than Nothing: Associations between Dfferent Measurements of Land Patterns and Depression among Nursing Students in El Paso, Texas

Version 1 : Received: 7 October 2020 / Approved: 12 October 2020 / Online: 12 October 2020 (12:19:23 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Nazif-Munoz, J.I.; Cedeno Laurent, J.G.; Browning, M.; Spengler, J.; Olvera Álvarez, H.A. Green, Brown, and Gray: Associations between Different Measurements of Land Patterns and Depression among Nursing Students in El Paso, Texas. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8146. Nazif-Munoz, J.I.; Cedeno Laurent, J.G.; Browning, M.; Spengler, J.; Olvera Álvarez, H.A. Green, Brown, and Gray: Associations between Different Measurements of Land Patterns and Depression among Nursing Students in El Paso, Texas. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8146.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8146
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17218146

Abstract

Background: While greenness has been associated with lower depression, the generalizability of this association in arid landscapes remains undetermined. We assessed the association between depression and greenness among nursing students living in El Paso, Texas (the Chihuahuan desert). Methods: Depression was measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 scale, and greenness with the normalized difference vegetation index (at buffer sizes =250m, 500m, 1000m). Using data from the National Land Cover Database two additional measures of land patterns were analyzed: grayness and brownness. Structural equation models were used to assess the relationships of these land patterns to depression and quantify the indirect effects of peer alienation. Results: After adjusting for individual characteristics, at buffers 250 m greenness was associated with a decrease in the Incidence Rate Ratios (IRR) of depression by 49% (IRR, 0.51; 95%CI, 0.12-2.10), greyness with increases by 64% (IRR, 1.64; 95%CI, 1.07-2.52) and brownness with decreases by 35% (IRR, 0.65; 95%CI, 0.42-0.99). At buffer 250 m peer alienation explained 17.43% (95% CI, -1.79-36.66) of the association between depression and brownness, suggesting a pathway to depression. Conclusions: We did not observe an association between depression and residential greenness in El Paso, Texas. However, we did observe a protective association between brownness and depression as well as an adverse association with grayness. These results have theoretical implications as based on commonly used frameworks in this literature and adverse association of brownness (and the lack of greenness) and depression was expected.

Keywords

greenness; brownness; depression; structural equation models

Subject

EARTH SCIENCES, Atmospheric Science

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