Parents' perceptions of neighborhood safety and children's physical activity
ABSTRACT The obesity epidemic disproportionately affects minority and poor children. Negative perceptions of neighborhood safety in poor communities may affect overweight by inhibiting children's physical activity. This study investigates the degree to which parents in a poor inner city vs. a middle-class suburban community limit their children's outdoor activity because of neighborhood safety concerns.
Parents of children aged 5-10 years from an inner city family practice in a poor community and from a suburban pediatric practice in a middle-class community completed a 20-item questionnaire. Parents estimated the amount of their child's activity in various situations and indicated their level of anxiety concerning gangs, child aggression, crime, traffic, and personal safety in their neighborhood.
Inner city children (n = 204) engaged in less physical activity than suburban children (N = 103) (P < 0.001). Inner city parents expressed much greater anxiety about neighborhood safety than suburban parents (P < 0.0001). In the inner city population, children's physical activity levels were negatively correlated with parental anxiety about neighborhood safety (r = -0.18, P < 0.05).
Inner city parents have high levels of anxiety about neighborhood safety. While these concerns may not entirely explain the discrepancy in activity levels between inner city and suburban children, a safe environment is crucial to increasing opportunities for physical activity.
- SourceAvailable from: Geraldine Moreno-Black
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- "In addition, few efforts draw on citizen-informed evaluations that also provide an emic perspective on the safety and comfort of pedestrian environments. This is particularly important in evaluating street environments for child pedestrians and their parental gatekeepers, who have strong concerns about safety (Carver et al. 2008, 2010; Kerr et al. 2007; Weir et al. 2006). "
ABSTRACT: Black (2015): Refining the grain: using resident-based walkability audits to better understand walkable urban form, makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the "Content") contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis, our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content. This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, orJournal of Urbanism International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability 01/2015; 8(3). DOI:10.1080/17549175.2014.990915
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- "Appendix A. Parental Neighborhood Safety Perceptions Scale (Weir et al. 2006) "
ABSTRACT: This study examined relationships between parents' neighborhood safety perceptions (NSPs) and their children's physical activity, active commuting to school, park use, active transportation to parks, and screen time, including differences by child gender, age, and income. Parents completed validated measures about NSPs and one child's behaviors. Children (n=144) were dichotomized into high or low groups for each of five behaviors and ANCOVAs analyzed between-group differences in parents' NSPs. There were no significant NSP differences for physical activity or active commuting, but higher parental NSPs were associated with greater park use among the full sample, males, ages 3–5, ages 13–17, and low-income children. Higher parental NSPs were also related to females' greater active transport to parks and less screen time. Addressing structural and psychosocial elements of neighborhood safety can lead to increased physical and social activity among young people.
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- "However, studies also suggest adults' outdoor recreation patterns and preferences may be an equally influential predictor of young people's recreation behavior. Research has shown parents' (or guardians') behaviors and perceptions are significant determinants of children's involvement in recreational activities (Barnett and Chick 1986; Hutchinson, Baldwin and Caldwell 2003; King et al. 2006; Weir, Etelson and Brand 2006). For instance, a national study of young people in the U.S. revealed a strong correlation between children's time outdoors and the outdoor time of their parents or guardians (Larson, Green and Cordell 2011), and, a systematic literature review of factors influencing youth's physically active behavior found that parental support and encouragement were consistent, significant predictors of physical activity (Beets, Cardinal and Alderman 2010). "
ABSTRACT: This study examined adult (i.e., parent or guardian) reported metrics of young people's (age 0 to 17 years) outdoor recreation participation, state park use, and recreation-related benefits across a demographically diverse population in north Georgia. Methods included on-site (n = 1,039) and off-site (n = 279) intercept survey sampling in state parks and flea markets near the parks. Results revealed most guardians were aware of youth recreation benefits and particularly valued communal recreation experiences such as interactions with family and friends in outdoor environments. State parks were particularly popular locations for socially oriented recreation, especially for Latino families. Results suggest that understanding of young people's recreation and park use patterns could be enhanced through closer examination of adult perceptions regarding children and youths' time outdoors.