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Children's motivation overcame parental hesitation: active school transportation in Sweden.

Rutberg S, et al. Health Promot Int. 2018.

Abstract

To meet the recommendation of 60 min of daily physical activity, children can be encouraged to walk or bike to school, which is known as active school transportation (AST). The aim of this study was to describe parents' attitudes to AST and to explore their experience when implementing interventions to promote it. To explore parent's experiences, we collected pre- and post-intervention data via three questionnaires, using both closed and open questioning techniques. The pre-intervention questionnaire informed development of the intervention. Open-ended questions (pre- and post-) were analyzed with qualitative content analysis. In the intervention, there were 42 children, with 63 parents answering pre-intervention questionnaires and 44 answering a post-intervention questionnaire. The analysis resulted in one main theme: children's motivation and active travel reduces parents' perception of problems, along with three subthemes: parental concerns and suggestions for solutions, children's motivation guides parental choice of transport mode, and trying it changes attitudes. In conclusion, it is beneficial to use the enthusiasm and motivation of children to overcome parental hesitation with AST. In addition, it is critical to acknowledge their concerns, as they are the gatekeepers to the children's use of AST and it is valuable to empower parents when designing relevant interventions. Interventions to increase AST could preferably target changed behavior, and parents' confidence in their children's ability to use active transport in a safe and effective way, vs focusing on changing parental attitudes.

PMID

30376064 [ - as supplied by publisher]

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