Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Integrated Article

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Geography

Supervisor

Gilliland, Jason A.

Abstract

Active school travel has benefits for children’s physical and mental health, academic achievement, and the environment. Underscoring active school travel is children’s independent mobility, defined as their ability to travel around their community without adult supervision. Interventions have shown some success in reversing declining trends in active school travel and independent mobility. However, little is known about how interventions have varying impacts on different subgroups of children. This thesis identifies ways to increase equity in active school travel interventions by investigating how equity is currently considered in interventions and gendered disparities in children’s ability to engage in independent mobility. This thesis includes a systematic review of active school travel interventions and a quantitative investigation of differences in determinants of independent mobility between boys and girls. Findings have implications for future research and practice among intervention facilitators and evaluators, public health practitioners, policymakers, educators, and school administrators.

Summary for Lay Audience

Active school travel is defined as any form of human-powered transport to and/or from school, for example walking or biking. Actively traveling to/from school has been found to benefit children’s physical and mental health, school success, and the environment. Children who travel around their community without adult supervision, termed independent mobility, are more likely to travel to and from school actively. In the past 20 to 30 years fewer children are independently mobile or travel to and from school actively. Interventions promoting active school travel have shown some success at getting more kids to travel without parents and engage in active school travel. However, little is known about how these interventions affect different groups of children. The purpose of this thesis is to identify ways to increase equity in active school travel interventions by investigating (1) how equity is considered in intervention development, implementation, and evaluation, and (2) whether boys and girls have different barriers and facilitators to engaging in independent mobility on their school trips. This thesis uses a review of active school travel interventions as well as a quantitative investigation of differences in determinants of independent mobility between boys and girls. Findings have implications for future research, policy, and practice.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Available for download on Wednesday, September 01, 2021

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