142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Active Commuting to School: An Interplay of Child Self-efficacy, Social Influence, and Built Environment

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wenhua Lu , Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Elisa Lisako Jones-McKyer, Ph.D., M.P.H. , Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Chanam Lee, PhD, MLA , Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Marcia Ory, PhD, MPH , Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences, Texas A&M HSC School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Background: Self-efficacy (SE) has been identified as a consistent predictor of child’s physical activity. However, the role of SE in child’s active commuting to school (ACS) remains unclear. The purposes of this study were to: 1) determine how the interplay of child SE, social factors, and environmental constraints influence child’s ACS, and 2) investigate sources of child SE.

Methods: Fourth graders and their parents (N=857) who lived within two miles from school were recruited from 74 schools across Texas. Children completed a survey assessing their attitudes, perceptions, and SE toward ACS, defined as walking or biking to/from school most days of the week. Parents provided information about their social demographics, e.g., gender, ethnicity, and types of assistance their families received. Environmental constraints, e.g., distance and land uses en route to school, were captured using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and field audits. An integrated model was tested using multilevel structural equation modeling.

Results: The model demonstrated a good model fit (RMSEA=.02, CFI=.99, WRMR=.84). Only 18.1% of the students were active commuters. Children from low socioeconomic status families (β=.40) were more likely to use active modes. ACS was predicted by both SE (β=.36) and environmental constraints (β=-.47). Environmental constraints were negatively (β=-.29), and child psychological states (β=.26) and social modeling (β=.28) were positively associated with child SE.

Conclusions: Few students are active commuters. To promote children’s ACS, interventions should include strategies to increase child SE and decrease environmental constraints.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:

Keyword(s): Children and Adolescents, Self-Efficacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a PhD candidate in Public Health Education, I've published multiple peer-reviewed journal articles and had around 20 conference presentations. My dissertation is about how the interplay of psychological, environmental, and social chracteristics influence child's active commuting to school. My research intersts include health disparities, environment and health, and child health.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Texas A&M University Health Education Student

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.