Young Adolescents’ Independent Mobility, Related Factors and Association with Transport to School: A Cross-Sectional Study.

Children’s independent mobility differs between groups of adolescents, but knowledge is lacking on how mobility-limiting factors interact. This study explores the association between factors that can affect young adolescents’ mobility, searching for typical patterns within a geographical area where mobility is both relatively high and promoted (in this case Stockholm County, Sweden). An additional question is how clusters of limiting factors and demographic attributes relate to active commuting to school. In this study, a sample of 7th grade students (ca 13-14 years old) in Stockholm County, Sweden, answered a survey (n = 1008). A cluster analysis was performed on variables descriptive of the respondents and of potential limitations to their independent mobility, such as fears, coping, the traffic situation in the neighborhood, and parent/ child opinions on mobility (18 variables and 50 categories). Active commuting to/from school was compared using proportion (with 95% confidence intervals) by cluster. Results showed five consistent and distinct clusters. Among the most discriminating factors were fears experienced in the neighborhood, strategies to cope with fear, type of housing and traffic environment. Girls were over-represented in the two clusters most typical of respondents experiencing fears (either several of these or darkness in particular) and boys in two others where housing (house vs. apartment) and neighborhood conditions played a more determinant role. The proportion of active commuting among respondents was quite similar over clusters but was nonetheless higher in the cluster (over girls) reporting more fears and other factors limiting mobility. The authors conclude that whereas fears - and coping - are more typical of adolescent girls in the formation of the clusters, household and neighborhood characteristics are more typical of boys. Broadly speaking, there seem to be two groups of girls with fears but these differ based on types of fear, ways of coping with fear and their living conditions. The association between the limitations to mobility and active commuting is unclear, the latter being higher among those disclosing a broader range of limiting factors, including fears.

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  • Authors:
    • Johansson, Klara
    • Hasselberg, Marie
    • Laflamme, Lucie
  • Publication Date: 2010-10-22


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01356055
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 26 2011 8:29PM