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Insights into children's cycling for transport: a socio-ecological approach

Ariane Ghekiere (UGent)
(2016)
Author
Promoter
(UGent) , (UGent) and Peter Clarys
Organization
Abstract
The development of a healthy lifestyle starts at a young age, and health behavior such as physical activity is known to track from childhood into adolescence and adulthood. One type of physical activity is cycling for transport. Currently, children’s cycling for transport levels are low, although it is an accessible, inexpensive and social-inclusive way to obtain the recommended daily hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Prior to develop interventions aiming to increase children’s cycling for transport, insights are needed into which factors are associated with children’s cycling for transport. Therefore, the overall objective of this PhD study was to obtain insight into individual, social and physical environmental factors associated with children’s (aged 10-12 years old) cycling for transport. This overall objective was divided into three sub-objectives. The first objective of this PhD thesis was to explore whether children’s psychosocial characteristics were associated with their cycling for transport. Results indicated that children’s self-efficacy and perceptions of parental norm and modeling, and friends’ co-participation were positively associated with their cycling for transport. Parental defined independent mobility was positively associated with children’s cycling for transport. Additionally, children’s psychosocial characteristics were stronger related with children’s cycling for transport among children with a low compared to high independent mobility. The second objective of this PhD thesis was to examine how parents’ psychosocial factors and environmental perceptions were associated with children’s independent mobility and cycling for transport. Parents’ perceptions of children’s cycling and traffic skills were positively associated with children’s independent mobility. Additionally, presence and maintenance of cycling facilities and presence of a public transit stop were positively associated with independent mobility levels among girls with low socio-economic status. Finally, parents’ co-participation in active transport was positively associated with children’s active transport levels. The final objective was to investigate which physical environmental factors were associated with an environment’s supportiveness for children’s cycling for transport. The findings highlighted that providing cycling facilities well-separated from traffic is the most important factor to create cycling-friendly environments for children. If a physical separation (such as a hedge or curb) is not possible to provide, line markings indicating a clear space where children are suggested to cycle may provide an alternative. Other micro-scale environmental factors (e.g. speed limitations, good maintenance, low traffic density) could also increase the supportiveness of an environment for children’s cycling for transport. Based on these results, it is suggested to develop future interventions with a multidimensional approach. Interventions should include both the child, by increasing self-efficacy and cycling/traffic skills, and the social environment, by increasing parental norm and modeling, and friends’ co-participation. Additionally, efforts should be made to create more cycling-friendly environments for children thereby targeting an increase in safety (perceptions) among children and parents. Providing cycling infrastructure well-separated from motorized traffic may be considered as an essential first step to increase traffic safety in order to promote cycling for transport among children.

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Citation

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Chicago
Ghekiere, Ariane. 2016. “Insights into Children’s Cycling for Transport: a Socio-ecological Approach”. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
APA
Ghekiere, Ariane. (2016). Insights into children’s cycling for transport: a socio-ecological approach. Ghent University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent, Belgium.
Vancouver
1.
Ghekiere A. Insights into children’s cycling for transport: a socio-ecological approach. [Ghent, Belgium]: Ghent University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences; 2016.
MLA
Ghekiere, Ariane. “Insights into Children’s Cycling for Transport: a Socio-ecological Approach.” 2016 : n. pag. Print.
@phdthesis{7215172,
  abstract     = {The development of a healthy lifestyle starts at a young age, and health behavior such as physical activity is known to track from childhood into adolescence and adulthood. One type of physical activity is cycling for transport. Currently, children{\textquoteright}s cycling for transport levels are low, although it is an accessible, inexpensive and social-inclusive way to obtain the recommended daily hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Prior to develop interventions aiming to increase children{\textquoteright}s cycling for transport, insights are needed into which factors are associated with children{\textquoteright}s cycling for transport. Therefore, the overall objective of this PhD study was to obtain insight into individual, social and physical environmental factors associated with children{\textquoteright}s (aged 10-12 years old) cycling for transport. This overall objective was divided into three sub-objectives.
The first objective of this PhD thesis was to explore whether children{\textquoteright}s psychosocial characteristics were associated with their cycling for transport. Results indicated that children{\textquoteright}s self-efficacy and perceptions of parental norm and modeling, and friends{\textquoteright} co-participation were positively associated with their cycling for transport. Parental defined independent mobility was positively associated with children{\textquoteright}s cycling for transport. Additionally, children{\textquoteright}s psychosocial characteristics were stronger related with children{\textquoteright}s cycling for transport among children with a low compared to high independent mobility.
The second objective of this PhD thesis was to examine how parents{\textquoteright} psychosocial factors and environmental perceptions were associated with children{\textquoteright}s independent mobility and cycling for transport. Parents{\textquoteright} perceptions of children{\textquoteright}s cycling and traffic skills were positively associated with children{\textquoteright}s independent mobility. Additionally, presence and maintenance of cycling facilities and presence of a public transit stop were positively associated with independent mobility levels among girls with low socio-economic status. Finally, parents{\textquoteright} co-participation in active transport was positively associated with children{\textquoteright}s active transport levels.
The final objective was to investigate which physical environmental factors were associated with an environment{\textquoteright}s supportiveness for children{\textquoteright}s cycling for transport. The findings highlighted that
providing cycling facilities well-separated from traffic is the most important factor to create cycling-friendly environments for children. If a physical separation (such as a hedge or curb) is not possible to provide, line markings indicating a clear space where children are suggested to cycle may provide an alternative. Other micro-scale environmental factors (e.g. speed limitations, good maintenance, low traffic density) could also increase the supportiveness of an environment for children{\textquoteright}s cycling for transport.
Based on these results, it is suggested to develop future interventions with a multidimensional approach. Interventions should include both the child, by increasing self-efficacy and cycling/traffic skills, and the social environment, by increasing parental norm and modeling, and friends{\textquoteright} co-participation. Additionally, efforts should be made to create more cycling-friendly environments for children thereby targeting an increase in safety (perceptions) among children and parents. Providing cycling infrastructure well-separated from motorized traffic may be considered as an essential first step to increase traffic safety in order to promote cycling for transport among children.},
  author       = {Ghekiere, Ariane},
  isbn         = {9789461973955},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {212},
  publisher    = {Ghent University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences},
  school       = {Ghent University},
  title        = {Insights into children's cycling for transport: a socio-ecological approach},
  year         = {2016},
}