Recent research suggests that, besides traditional sociodemographic and built environment attributes, the attitudes and perceptions of parents toward walking and bicycling play a crucial role in deciding which travel modes children take to school. However, little is known about the factors that shape these parental attitudes. The current study aims to investigate this unexplored avenue of research and to identify the influences on parental attitudes toward children walking and bicycling to school as part of a larger nationwide effort to make children more physically active and combat rising trends of childhood obesity in the United States. Through the use of a multivariate ordered response model (a model structure that allows different attitudes to be correlated), the current study analyzes five parental attitudes toward children walking and bicycling to school on the basis of data drawn from the California add-on sample of the 2009 National Household Travel Survey. In particular, the subsample from the Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County area is used in this study to take advantage of a rich set of microaccessibility measures that are available for this region. It is found that school accessibility, work patterns, current mode use in the household, and sociodemographic characteristics shape parental attitudes toward children walking and bicycling to school. The study findings provide insights on policies, strategies, and campaigns that may help shift parental attitudes to be more favorable toward children walking and bicycling to school.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering