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The Role of Parental Attitudes towards Walking on Children Walking to Schools

Milad Mehdizadeh 1, Amir Reza Mamdoohi 2, Mohsen Fallah Zavareh 3, and Trond Nordfjærn 4
1. Transportation Planning, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
2. Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
3. Kharazmi University, Karaj, Iran
4. NTNU Samfunnsforskning, Norway

Abstract—Walking to school has been dramatically decreasing since four decades ago, worldwide. There is very little support yet on the validity of psychological theories behind choosing mode of travel to schools by parents for their children, particularly in developing countries. The present study aims to investigate the effect of parental attitudes towards walking on choosing walking (versus non-walking modes) to schools for the children of primary schools in Rasht. 1078 Questionnaires were distributed among students in nine elementary schools (including public and private boys and girls schools) in January 2014 (Return Rate: 80%). The questionnaire included instruments on parental attitudes toward walking, as well as instruments to collect a few socioeconomic and built environment attributes. The respondents were also asked to reveal the dominant travel modes by which their children had commuted to schools during the week before the survey. K-means cluster analysis, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Multivariate Analysis of Covariates (MANCOVA) showed that the differences between 'Comfort and convenience of walking' and 'Contextual and design preconditions for walking' as two principal components of parental attitudes towards walking are statistically significant between those parents allowing their children to walk to schools compared to those their children commuting to schools by non-walking means of travel. The research gives promising findings for making pragmatic policies, planning for activities and undertaking campaigns with the aim of promoting walking to schools.

Index Terms—attitudes towards walking, comfort and convenience, design feasibility, contextual and design preconditions, walking to school

Cite: Milad Mehdizadeh, Amir Reza Mamdoohi, Mohsen Fallah Zavareh, and Trond Nordfjærn, "The Role of Parental Attitudes towards Walking on Children Walking to Schools," Journal of Traffic and Logistics Engineering, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 108-112, December 2016. doi: 10.18178/jtle.4.2.108-112



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