Award Date

5-1-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

Department

Environmental and Occupational Health

First Committee Member

Timothy Bungum

Second Committee Member

Michelle Chino

Third Committee Member

Guogen Shan

Fourth Committee Member

Christine Bergman

Number of Pages

119

Abstract

Introduction: Active transportation to school (ATS) shows promise for increasing activity levels in children, but prevalence and correlates vary widely in cities and regions with different barriers and supports for active travel. Classification of ATS users is a current issue in the field. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of ATS use and develop a predictive model of ATS for the novel population of children enrolled in grades K-8 in Clark County School District, a large metropolitan school district in Southern Nevada. Methods: This study used a secondary data from the National Center for Safe Routes to School's Parent Survey collected in 17 school communities by Clark County School District in 2013 (n=2,054). Variables representing demographic characteristics, socio-economic status, distance from school, and barriers to the use of ATS were assessed for correlations and normality. Logistic regression for survey data was used to develop predictive models for two measures of ATS. Results: The returned surveys represent a response rate of 13.5%. ATS use was categorized as some use (use of active methods of transportation for either the morning or afternoon commute or both on most days) and exclusive use (use of ATS for both trips on most days). Logistic regression revealed that some ATS use was predicted by distance from school, parental level of education, child's request to use ATS, and the number of barriers reported by the parent. Exclusive ATS use was also predicted by these characteristics, but was also predicted by the number of children in grades K-8 in the family. Both models explained about one third of the variation in ATS use in the sample. Discussion: Results suggest that ATS use among K-8 students in Clark County is predicted by distance and socio-economic status, as with other populations. Requesting permission to use ATS and the number of K-8 students in the family also predicted the use of ATS, but the implications of these findings require further analysis.

Keywords

Cycling; Exercise; Obesity in children; Obesity—Prevention; Walking--Health aspects

Disciplines

Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion

Language

English


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