Influence of area deprivation and perceived neighbourhood safety on active transport to school among urban Quebec preadolescents

Nicoleta Cutumisu, Ariane Bélanger-Gravel, Marilie Laferté, François Lagarde, Jean-Frédéric Lemay, Lise Gauvin

Abstract


OBJECTIVE: This study examines associations between area deprivation and perceived neighbourhood safety with active transport to school among preadolescents living in urban Quebec.

METHODS: A sample of 809 preadolescents aged 9 to 13 years and one each of their parents living in urban Quebec were recruited by a polling firm for a telephone interview about the Opération WIXX multimedia communication campaign. Opération WIXX was launched in 2012 by Québec en forme to promote physical activity among preadolescents. Logistic regression models predicted active transportation to school (as reported by both the child and his or her parent) from area-level material and social deprivation and from parental and children’s perceptions of neighbourhood safety while controlling for socio-demographic variables.

RESULTS: Child and parental reports of active commuting to school were highly concordant (Kendall’s tau=0.70, p<0.001). Children whose parents felt at ease to let their children actively commute to school (OR=1.75, 95% CI 1.25-2.45; p=0.001) and who lived in areas characterized by the highest material (OR=2.02, 95% CI 1.09-3.76; p=0.026) and social (OR=3.69, 95% CI 2.12-6.42; p<0.001) deprivation were more likely to report actively commuting to school. Parents who felt at ease to let their children actively commute to school (OR=1.60, 95% CI 1.15-2.21; p=0.005) and who lived in neighbourhoods characterized by a higher social deprivation (OR=1.70, 95% CI 1.04-2.79; p=0.036, OR=2.01, 95% CI 1.23-3.29; p=0.006, OR=2.72, 95% CI 1.59-4.63; p<0.001) were more likely to report that their child actively commuted to school.

CONCLUSION: Active commuting to school is associated with parental perceptions of safety and area deprivation.


Keywords


Active transport; deprivation; perceived safety; children

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17269/cjph.105.4561