Children's Independent Mobility and Social Media Use on Face-To-Face Social Interaction with Friends

Social interaction with friends is an important contributor to children’s well-being, but how transport affects this is rarely studied. For two or more children (not of the same household) to have social interaction where they are physically present (i.e. face-to-face), requires at least one of them to make a trip. Qualitative work has found that children mention the possibility to socialize with friends as a desirable attribute of independent travel, and independent travel is associated with knowing where to find friends. However, little is known quantitatively. Thus, the first objective of this article is to examine whether general travel patterns and licenses to travel independently relate to face-to-face interaction. Further, children in this era have new tools of communication that were not available widely in previous generations. Are those tools being used to replace face-to-face interaction? Would it be more likely that replacement would occur if children’s independence was restricted? Thus, a second objective is to examine whether virtual social interaction affects face-to-face social interaction. And finally, is there any influence of travel patterns and licences on virtual interaction? The findings suggest that virtual social interaction may be complementary to face-to-face interaction and that being allowed to travel independently increases those physically present social interactions.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ADD50 Standing Committee on Environmental Justice in Transportation.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
    • Waygood, E Owen D
    • Olsson, Lars
    • Taniguchi, Ayako
    • Friman, Margareta
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 17p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01697796
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-00760
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 7 2018 9:37AM