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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Aug 10;16(16). pii: E2862. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16162862.

Correlates of Children's Independent Mobility in Canada: A Multi-Site Study.

Author information

1
School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Education, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada. negin.riazi@ubc.ca.
2
Département des sciences de l'activité physique, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, QC G8Z 4M3, Canada.
3
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB T1K 3M4, Canada.
4
Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L1, Canada.
5
School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Education, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.
6
Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Centre, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9, Canada.

Abstract

Globally, physical inactivity is a concern, and children's independent mobility (CIM) may be an important target behavior for addressing the physical inactivity crisis. The aim of this study was to examine correlates of CIM (8-12 years old) in the Canadian context to inform future interventions. CIM was measured via parent surveys. Individual, social, and environmental correlates of CIM were examined using a social-ecological framework. 1699 participants' data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and gender-stratified linear mixed-effects models while controlling for site, area-level socioeconomic status, and type of urbanization. Individual correlates including child grade (β = 0.612, p < 0.001), language spoken at home (β = -0.503, p < 0.001), car ownership (β = -0.374, p < 0.05), and phone ownership (β = 0.593, p < 0.001) were associated with CIM. For boys, parental gender (β = -0.387, p < 0.01) was negatively associated with CIM. Parents' perceptions of safety and environment were significantly associated with CIM. Location (i.e., site) was significantly associated with CIM (ref: Trois-Rivières; Ottawa (β = -1.188, p < 0.001); Vancouver (β = -1.216, p < 0.001)). Suburban environments were negatively associated with boys' independent mobility (β = -0.536, p < 0.05), while walkability (400 m β = 0.064, p < 0.05; 1600 m β = -0.059, p < 0.05) was significantly associated with girls' independent mobility only. Future research and interventions should consider targeting "modifiable factors" like children's and parents' perceptions of neighborhood safety and environment.

KEYWORDS:

active transportation; built environment; physical activity; social–ecological framework; socioeconomic status; urbanization

PMID:
31405110
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph16162862
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