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Child transport practices and perceived barriers in active commuting to school

Yeung, J. and Wearing, S.C. and Hills, A.P. (2008) Child transport practices and perceived barriers in active commuting to school. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 42 (6). pp. 895-900. ISSN 0965-8564

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Abstract

This study evaluated the transport practices of school children and perceived factors that influenced parental decisions regarding their child's use of active transport to commute to school. A self-administered parental questionnaire (n = 324) was used to determine the transport practices of school children and factors that influence parental decisions regarding their child's use of active transport to school. The relationship between transportation modes (active vs. passive), distance and descriptive variables were evaluated. Despite a median commuting distance of 2.5 km (0.1-28.0 km), only one-third of school trips involved active transport. Children using active transport commuted shorter distances (1.5 vs. 3.6 km), were older (10 vs. 8 years) and more likely to be male than those using motorised transport (P < 0.05). While logistic regression revealed only commuting distance was significantly associated with an increased odds of active transport (OR 0.29, 95% CI 0.17-0.48), the most frequently reported factors influencing parental decisions regarding their child's use of active transport were: (1) the age of child; (2) provision of safe walking paths; (3) adult supervision; (4) commuting distance, and (5) child's fitness level. While the majority of these factors have been identified within the literature, their validity has yet to be established.