Impacts of parental gender and attitudes on children's school travel mode and parental chauffeuring behavior: Results for California based on the 2009 National Household Travel Survey

Research has shown that parental attitudes are a significant predictor of children's active commuting (walking or biking) to school. However, the impact of parental gender on parental attitudes, and the link between parental attitudes and the gender gap in parental chauffeuring behavior have not received much attention. This paper examines these questions by applying discrete choice models to California data from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey while controlling for a wide range of variables characterizing parents, their children, households, schools, and the local built environment. Our results, conveyed via odds ratios, show that mothers are more likely to have higher concerns about traffic volume, which in turn reduces the likelihood that their children will walk or bike to school. Moreover, even though parental attitudes significantly influence parental chauffeuring behavior, their ability to explain the gender chauffeuring gap is limited. When holding equal concerns, mothers are still more likely than fathers to chauffeur their children to school. Finally, while distance to school and several land use measures (e.g., population density, urbanization level, and percentage of renters) are statistically significant, the impact of an objective measure of walkability is quite small. These results suggest that interventions targeting an increase in children's walking and biking to school should focus on the concerns of mothers, especially as they relate to traffic characteristics.


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  • Accession Number: 01529036
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 27 2014 3:33PM