An Analysis of the Social Context of Children's Weekend Discretionary Activity Participation




Sener, Ipek N.
Bhat, Chandra R.

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This paper examines the discretionary time-use of children, including the social context of children's participations. Specifically, the paper examines participation and time investment in in-home leisure as well as five different types of out-of-home discretionary activities: (1) shopping, (2) social, (3) meals, (4) passive recreation (i.e., physically inactive recreation, such as going to the movies or a concert), and (5) active recreation (i.e., physically active recreation, such as playing tennis or running). The social context of children's activity participation is also examined by focusing on the accompanying individuals in children's activity engagement. The accompanying arrangement is classified into one of six categories: (1) alone, (2) with mother and no one else, (3) with father and no one else, (4) with both mother and father, and no one else, (5) with other individuals, but no parents, and (6) with other individuals and one or both parents. The utility-theoretic Multiple Discrete-Continuous Extreme Value (MDCEV) is employed to model time-use in one or more activity purpose-company type combinations. The data used in the analysis is drawn from the 2002 Child Development Supplement (CDS) to the U.S. Panel Study Income Dynamics (PSID). The results from the model can be used to examine the time-use choices of children, as well as to assess the potential impacts of urban and societal policies on children's activity participation and time use decisions. Our findings also emphasize the need to collect, in future travel surveys, more extensive and higher quality data capturing the intra- and inter-household interactions between individuals (including children). To our knowledge, the research in this paper is the first transportation-related study to rigorously and comprehensively analyze the social dimension of children's activity participation.


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Sener, I.N., and C.R. Bhat (2007). An Analysis of the Social Context of Children's Weekend Discretionary Activity Participation. Transportation, Vol. 34, No. 6, 697-721.