Association Between Vehicle Time During Pregnancy and Mental Health among Women of Different Income Groups

The health and social consequences of longer vehicle commutes have been observed in other studies. This study explores whether daily vehicle time during pregnancy is associated with greater mental health symptoms. As travel behavior can be related to where one can afford to live, the authors examined this by income groups. The authors utilized a subsample of the 2007 Los Angeles Mommy and Baby study of more than 500 women, a cross-sectional survey with current and retrospective reporting. The authors modelled mental health symptoms during pregnancy and postpartum stratified by income. Women in this Los Angeles County study spend an average of 2hours in daily vehicle travel. The authors found, controlling for physical inactivity and other stress events, that vehicle time was positively associated with mental health symptoms during pregnancy and postpartum among low income women only. This is the first paper to examine the mental health impact of daily vehicle time among pregnant women. From a policy perspective, this study points to what housing affordability, neighborhood accessibility, and workplace policies could mean for pregnant women and their families. Vehicle time is a daily demand that can compete with important health behaviors for pregnant women. The impact on low income women only could reflect other experiences in their lives (e.g. occupation, the lack of neighborhood choice and quality). In addition, there is research to suggest that higher income women can “buy back” some of their time. These are areas for future research.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01667024
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 4 2018 4:55PM