Greenness and the Potential Resilience to Sexual Violence: “Your Neighborhood Is Being Neglected Because People Don’t Care. People With Power Don’t Care”

Gibran Mancus, Andrea N. Cimino, Md Zabir Hasan, Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Phyllis W Sharps, Peter J. Winch, Kiyomi Tsuyuki, Jamila K. Stockman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is increasing evidence that green space in communities reduces the risk of aggression and violence, and increases wellbeing. Positive associations between green space and resilience have been found among children, older adults and university students in the United States, China and Bulgaria. Little is known about these associations among predominately Black communities with structural disadvantage. This study explored the potential community resilience in predominately Black neighborhoods with elevated violent crime and different amounts of green space. This embedded mixed-methods study started with quantitative analysis of women who self-identified as “Black and/or African American.” We found inequality in environments, including the amount of green space, traffic density, vacant property, and violent crime. This led to 10 indepth interviews representing communities with elevated crime and different amounts of green space. Emergent coding of the first 3 interviews, a subset of the 98 in the quantitative analysis, led to a priori coding of barriers and facilitators to potential green space supported community resilience applied to the final 7 interview data. Barriers were a combination of the physical and social environment, including traffic patterns, vacant property, and crime. Facilitators included subjective qualities of green space. Green spaces drew people in through community building and promoting feelings of calmness. The transformation of vacant lots into green spaces by community members affords space for people to come together and build community. Green spaces, a modifiable factor, may serve to increase community resilience and decrease the risk of violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • African American women
  • environmental injustice
  • greenness
  • resilience
  • sexual violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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