2015 - Research

Does Parental Accompaniment When Walking or Cycling Moderate the Association Between Physical Neighbourhood Environment and Active Transport Among 10-12 Year Olds?

Parental co-participation in walking and cycling is positively associated with frequency of walking and cycling trips made by youth, indicating that parental accompaniment walking or cycling to school may increase overall rates in associated youth. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Parental co-participation in walking and cycling is positively associated with frequency of walking and cycling trips made by youth, indicating that parental accompaniment walking or cycling to school may increase overall rates in associated youth.
  • Safer and denser intersections may help increase rates of cycling and walking to school and other destinations in youth who do not have parental accompaniment.

RESULTS:

  • The study found that children who walk or cycle at least once a month with a parent typically had a higher number of active trips per week.
  • Limited evidence was found that parental accompaniment on walking and cycling trips moderates built environment features, suggesting that the built environment is still independently a very important influence on walking and cycling in youth.
  • The study found a positive association between intersection density and walking/cycling trips among children who do not co-participate in cycling with their parents, compared with those that do. This indicates that intersection density may be an important infrastructure consideration to improve walking and cycling safety in children without parental accompaniment.

METHODS:

  • This cross-sectional study used data from the Children Living in Active Neighbourhoods (CLAB) study, including 677 children, aged 10 to 12 years, and their families who were recruited from 19 randomly selected primary schools (9 in low and 10 in high socioeconomic status areas) in Melbourne, Australia to volunteer for the study. Children’s walking and cycling trips to eight locations – friend’s houses, parks/ovals/playgrounds, the post box, public transport, school, shops, sport venues, and bike/walking tracks - were recorded using parental reporting of frequency, as well as how often trips were made with parental accompaniment. An 800-meter Euclidian buffer was applied to define each child’s neighbourhood. Multilevel regression was applied to determine moderating effects between parental accompaniment and the built environment.

Ghekiere, A., Carver, A., Veitch, J., Salmon, J., Defoche, B., and Timperio, A. (2015). Does parental accompaniment when walking or cycling moderate the association between physical neighbourhood environment and active transport among 10-12 year olds? (2015). Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport (2015).