Parental attitudes toward children walking and bicycling to school : a multivariate ordered response analysis
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Recent research suggests that, besides traditional socio-demographic and built environment attributes, the attitudes and perceptions of parents toward walking and bicycling play a crucial role in deciding their children’s mode choice to school. However, very little is known about the factors that shape these parental attitudes toward their children actively commuting to school. The current study aims to investigate this unexplored avenue of research and identify the influences on parental attitudes toward their 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 US. Through the use of a multivariate ordered response model (a model structure that allows different attitudes to be correlated), the current study analyses five different parental attitudes toward their children walking and bicycling to school, based on 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 micro-accessibility measures that is available for this region. It is found that school accessibility, work patterns, current mode use in the household, and socio-demographic 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 favourable toward their children walking and bicycling to school.