Factors associated with children being driven to school: Implications for walk to school programs

Li Ming Wen, Denise Fry, Chris Rissel, Helen Dirkis, Angela Balafas, Dafna Merom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, we examined factors associated with children being driven to school. Participants were 1603 students (aged 9-11 years) and their parents from 24 public primary schools in inner western Sydney, Australia. Students recorded their modes of travel to and from school for 5 days in a student survey. Parents recorded their demographic data, their attitudes to travel, and their modes of travel to work, using a self-administered survey. An analysis of the two linked data sets found that 41% of students travelled by car to or from school for more than 5 trips per week. Almost a third (32%) of students walked all the way. Only 1% of students rode a bike and 22% used more than one mode of travel. Of those who were driven, 29% lived less than 1 km and a further 18% lived between 1 and 1.5 km from school. Factors associated with car travel (after adjusting for other potential confounders) were mode of parents' travel to work, parent attitudes, number of cars in the household, and distance from home to school. To be effective, walk to school programs need to address the link between parent journey to work and student journey to school.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-334
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Education Research
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes

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