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Am J Prev Med. 2008 Mar;34(3):207-11. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2007.12.004.

Commute time and social capital in the U.S.

Author information

1
Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. lilahbesser@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The suggested declining trend in social capital among Americans could be due, in part, to long commute times associated with urban sprawl.

METHODS:

In 2007, the 2001 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) was used to determine the association between commute time and socially-oriented trips, a proxy measure of social capital, while controlling for individual-level and regional-level characteristics. Socially-oriented trips were those taken to: attend school/religious activities; attend social/recreational activities; visit friends/relatives; go out for entertainment; attend funerals/weddings/social events; exercise/play sports; attend to family/personal obligations; participate in organizational meetings; or transport someone. Odds ratios and 95% CIs were calculated for the association between commute time and socially-oriented trips for full-time working adults (N=54,747).

RESULTS:

Higher commute time (>20 minutes) was significantly associated with no socially-oriented trips (adjusted OR=1.17, 95% CI=1.09-1.25). The strongest association was among 90+ minute commuters (adjusted OR=1.50, 95% CI=1.16-1.94).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study suggests that individuals with longer commutes have less access to social capital, as indicated by fewer socially-oriented trips.

PMID:
18312808
DOI:
10.1016/j.amepre.2007.12.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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