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Transportation, Stress, and Community Psychology

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Conditions of transportation were investigated as sources of psychological stress as they affect the physiology, task performance, and mood of commuters. Participants in the study were 100 employees of industrial firms. Traffic congestion was construed as a behavioral constraint in terms of the concept of impedance which is defined by the parameters of distance and time. It was expected that the effects of impedance would be mediated by personality factors, such as locus of control. Multivariate tests of the internal validity of the impedance factor were significant. However, significant main effects for impedance were obtained only for mood and residential adaptation. The predicted interactions of impedance with locus of control were obtained across task performance indices. In multiple regression analyses, the distance and speed of the commute to work were found to account for significant proportions of variation in blood pressure, while several indices of personal control had significant regression effects on the task measures. The implications of the results for research in community psychology are discussed.
... In the last age group i.e. (38-42+) the number of female respondents was counted to be zero. The mean responses of males from the age groups i.e. (28)(29)(30)(31)(32), (33)(34)(35)(36)(37) and (38-42+) years were calculated to be 2.5+0.97, 1.33+0.58 ...
... In the last age group i.e. (38-42+) the number of female respondents was counted to be zero. The mean responses of males from the age groups i.e. (28)(29)(30)(31)(32), (33)(34)(35)(36)(37) and (38-42+) years were calculated to be 2.25+0.77, 1.67+1.15 ...
... respectively. In two age groups i.e. (28)(29)(30)(31)(32) and (33)(34)(35)(36)(37) years, number of female respondents was counted to be one that`s why, mean and standard deviation were not possible to be calculated. In the last age group i.e. (38-42+) the number of female respondents was counted to be zero. ...
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Traffic violations on the road are increasing day by day and one of its major causes is driving anger and this socio emotional research was conducted to analyze the driving anger of the respondents with varying gender, age and driving experience. This empirical and quantitative research was conducted at Mehran University of engineering and technology and data was collected from the students and teachers of the university. Closed ended Questionnaire of Dr. Larson (with 4-poitn likert scale) was used as the research instrument. 200respondents were provided the questionnaires and out of 200, 160 filled questionnaires were collected back from the respondents and 20 of them were found to be invalid because they were incompletely filled. Data was entered into the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 22. Data was analyzed by conducting frequency distribution of various variables of driving anger; at the same time, the responses of respondents for different variables were compared across the demographics i.e. gender, age and driving experience. For comparison of means of the different groups, analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used. The results indicated that female drivers were angrier than male drivers; driving experience group (1-5 years) was indicated to be the angriest group of all other driving experience groups. 33-37 years was less angry group among all the age groups of respondents. Most of the respondents got angry at traffic jam. In this research, the aspects of violation on the roads are highlighted, which result in accidents and so the deaths on the road. Number of reasons are behind accidents of people on the road and driving anger is one of their main causes. Since, there is matter of lives of citizens therefore, this study was conducted to study driving anger so that this issue can be studied and made understood. The main limitation of the research is that, the data was only collected from the students and teachers of Mehran UET; which is not enough to represent full respondents of Hyderabad and Jamshoro Districts. At the same time, the sample size was also small due to the limitation of time. We humans give the accurate response of anything that has been faced nearly; in contrast, the response we can give against that situation after some time would be with less intensity. Similarly, the data was collected at the university time and respondents did not face the traffic congestion problem nearly (during the time of one hour) that's why their response against the variables of driving anger may lack in the context of accuracy. The authors reviewed ample number of published research papers on the subject of driving anger which can be seen in the table 1. No paper was found in which the results are stressed in terms of demographics (i.e. age, gender and driving experience).In this regard, present research was conducted to highlight the influence of demographic characteristics on the driving anger of drivers.
... From a theoretical perspective, the link between commute time and mental health originates in the "impedance theory" (Novaco et al., 1979;Novaco et al., 1990) and the "stress process theory" (Pearlin et al., 1981;Pearlin and Bierman, 2013). The "impedance theory" aims to explain the psychophysiological link between commute and mental health. ...
... X. Wang and T. Liu commute trips as psychological "impedance", which is the difficulty for a commuter in moving from origin to destination. Thus, commute can be regarded as an effort-taking process to overcome such "impedance" that creates stress (Novaco et al., 1979, Novaco et al., 1990. When people experience stress, their levels of cortisol increase, and those who constantly have high cortisol levels are more likely to have depression and other mental health problems (Adli, 2017;Pearlin et al., 1981). ...
... The "stress process theory" aims to explore the potential psychological mechanisms connecting commute and mental health, with a focus on the potential roles stress may play. Long commute time, according to the above-mentioned "impedance theory", can serve as an independent stressor to increase individuals' cortisol level, and hence increase the probability of depression (Novaco et al., 1979;Pearlin et al., 1981). Besides being such a "direct stressor", commute may also serve as an "indirect stressor" to trigger a "secondary stressor" that can lead to depression (Pearlin and Bierman, 2013). ...
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As a vital aspect of individual’s quality of life, mental health has been included as an important component of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. This study focuses on a specific aspect of mental health: depression, and examines its relationship with commute patterns. Using survey data from 1,528 residents in Beijing, China, we find that every 10 additional minutes of commute time is associated with 1.1% higher probability of depression. We test for the mechanisms of the commute-depression link and find that commute is associated with depression as a direct stressor rather than triggering higher work stress. When decomposing commute time into mode-specific time, we found that time on mopeds/motorcycles has the strongest association with depression. Moreover, the commute-depression associations are stronger for older workers and blue-collar workers. Hence, policies that could reduce commute time, encourage work from home, improve job-housing balance or increase motorcyclists’ safety would help promote mental health.
... Commute satisfaction is a major component of quality of life. While some workers enjoy or at least tolerate their commutes, there are others for whom commuting can have severe negative impacts (Novaco et al., 1979;Chatterjee et al., 2020). Ample research has shown that the longer in duration one's commute is, the less likely they are able to participate in other important daily activities (Farber and Páez, 2011;Hilbrecht et al., 2014), and the more likely they will experience negative effects on health and well-being (Morris and Guerra, 2015;St-Louis et al., 2014). ...
... Moreover, a substantial body of previous research has found significant relationships between commute time and stress, mental health, and well-being (Novaco et al., 1979;Stutzer and Frey, 2008;Chatterjee et al., 2020). Previous research has found that self-reported mood and satisfaction is lower during commuting than at the time of other activities (Kahneman et al., 2004;Lancée et al., 2017), and that the longer one's commute, the greater the effect on one's mood and emotions (Morris and Guerra, 2015;St-Louis et al., 2014). ...
Article
There is growing body of research and practice assessing transportation equity and justice. Commuting is an especially important dimension to study since such frequent, non-discretionary travel, can come at the expense of time for other activities and therefore negatively impact mental health and well-being. An ”extreme commuter” is a worker who has a particularly burdensome commute, and has previously been defined based on one-way commute times above 60 or 90 minutes. In this paper, we examine the social and geographic inequalities of extreme commuting in Canada. We use a 25% sample of all commuters in Canada in 2016 (n = 4,543,417) and our analysis consists of descriptive statistics and logistic regression models. The average one-way commute time in 2016 across Canada was 26 minutes, but over 9.7% of the workforce had commute times exceeding 60 minutes. However, this rate of extreme commuting was 11.5% for low-income households, 13.5% for immigrants, and 13.4% among non-white Canadians, reaching as high as 18.6% for Black Canadians and 14.7% for Latin American Canadians specifically. We find that these inequalities persist even after controlling for household factors, commute mode, occupation, and built environment characteristics. The persistently significant effects of race in our models point to factors like housing and employment discrimination as possible contributors to extreme commuting. These results highlight commuting disparities at a national scale prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and represents clear evidence of structural marginalization contributing to racialized inequalities in the critical metric of daily commute times seldom recognized by Canadian scholars and planners.
... 1,2 In addition, researchers find that commuting is an important factor in play for employee turnover, job satisfaction, and cognitive failure at work. [3][4][5] Despite its importance in everyday life, there are very few studies that explore commuting objectively. Most of these studies use specialized headmounts and electrodes, which we believe provide better cognitive data during driving but limit large-scale studies because of cost and their intrusive nature. ...
... This finding is in line with work that reports negative commute experiences, such as impedance and congestion, are associated with decreased task motivation, heightened negative emotions, including feelings of anxiety, frustration, irritation, and general annoyance. 3,4 Studies show that such behavioral stress reactions may lower performance efficiency of the employees when they arrive at the workplace. 7 Researchers use the Conservation of Resources theory 8 to explain the relationship between commuting stress and job performance. ...
Article
Commuting to and from work presents daily stressors for most workers. It is typically demanding in terms of time and cost, and can impact people’s mental health, job performance, and, broadly speaking, personal life. We use mobile phones and wearable sensing to capture location-related context, physiology, and behavioral patterns of N=275 information workers while they commute, mainly by driving, between home and work locations spread across the United States for a one-year period. We assess the impact of commuting on participant’s workplace performance, showing that we can predict self-reported workplace performance metrics based on passively collected mobile-sensing features captured during commute periods.
... Evidencia de esto puede encontrarse los sistemas de movilidad humana. Se ha encontrado que los conductores que deben desplazarse largas distancias a sus lugares de trabajo tienden a presentar niveles significativamente más altos de presión sanguínea y además reportan sentirse -tensos‖ o -nerviosos‖ con mayor frecuencia que quienes se desplazan distancias cortas o utilizan el bus o viajan a pie (Novaco, 1979;Stokols, 1978). ...
... Driving can be an arduous task involving multiple stressors. Repeated exposures to driving under stressful conditions can lead to increased blood pressure and heart rate [8,9]. Besides these ill-effects, driver's stress can also influence their behavior leading to increased aggressiveness on the road [10,11], decreased concentration during driving [12], and increased occurrences of accidents [13]. ...
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A naturalistic data-driven study was conducted in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, to study drivers’ physiological stress behavior under Indian traffic conditions. Six male participants with professional driving experience were recruited and asked to complete daily trips in urban roadways of Chennai. The participants completed their trips in a sedan-type four-wheeler vehicle mounted with two cameras (near the rearview mirror) to record the traffic data and driver’s in-vehicle behavior. An android phone mounted on the dashboard collected GPS and accelerometer data. The drivers wore an Empatica E4 device to record their physiological data, such as electrodermal activity, a key indicator of physiological stress. A holistic database assembled by linking different kinds of information was used to identify traffic events and road characteristics that can potentially impact the driver’s physiological stress levels. This data was analyzed using a mixed-effects model. It was observed that U-turns and Protected Right turns in an intersection significantly increased the driver’s stress. Additionally, slow-moving traffic in such scenarios further increased the effect. Merge Points serve as undesignated spaces for vehicle and pedestrian crossing and were identified as a contributor to the driver’s stress. Alternatively, the presence of a median and a greater number of lanes significantly decreased the driver’s stress. This paper reports a first-of-its-kind study conducted in India to assess the factors impacting driver’s stress. Adopting measures and initiatives to modify the identified factors can help create a stress-free traffic environment for Indian drivers.
... Two independent judges coded each focus group discussion following a theorydriven approach, i.e., identifying the relevant sentences and issues related to each topic based on the pre-defined conceptual categories (Hsieh and Shannon, 2005). Such categories concern respectively affect-based and instrumental-based evaluations (Steg, 2005;, perceived behavioral control (Ajzen, 1991), perceived safety (e.g., Ingvardson and Nielsen, 2021;Rahman et al., 2021), social norms (Cialdini et al., 1991;Bamberg et al., 2020), environmental stress (Novaco et al., 1979;Wallenius, 2004), and general environmental and architectural aspects (e.g., aesthetic features). Importantly, people referred to pre-existing categories even if no explicit question about the category was made. ...
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Due to the environmental and health impact of the private transport sector, social scientists have largely focused on psychosocial and contextual factors associated with people's choice over transport means. This study aims to contribute to this line of research by applying a user-centered approach, with the objective of taking into account the specific environmental and social context of the metropolitan area of Cagliari city (Sardinia, Italy). To accomplish this aim, four groups of people were matched according to their shared starting point: car users vs. public transport users (Study 1), and light-rail users vs. non-light-rail users (Study 2). Groups were interviewed using a focus group method. Participants were invited to discuss their everyday travel experiences and to exchange their ideas on different sustainable (e.g., bicycles and public transport) and less sustainable (i.e., private cars) means of transport. Both consolidated drivers/barriers in the field of environmental psychology (e.g., perceived behavioral control, social norms) and public transportation design features (e.g., lighting) have been investigated. Other than highlighting the importance of socio-psychological factors to promote more sustainable transport choices like in previous studies, the present research offers an insight into how these aspects and factors are shaped and experienced in the narratives of residents.
... As related to experiencing challenges while commuting, such as traffic, this is known as the commute impedance model. 47 According to this model, alternative modes might be less desirable because they are more uncertain and variable. 48 Thus, reducing the variability or lack of control over alternatives could increase the attractiveness of these options. ...
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Dramatic reductions in carbon emissions must take place immediately. A human-centric method of reducing environmental impacts is to “nudge” employees away from single-occupancy vehicles (SOVs) toward more sustainable commuting options. While an abundance of research has focused on external determinants of mode choice, we know much less about the behavioral determinants. The field of behavioral science is overdue for a focus on transportation. This paper is meant to facilitate communication between researchers, practitioners, and policymakers in part by developing a behaviorally-informed framework that can be leveraged by policymakers, government, and companies worldwide. We also describe the founding of our multidisciplinary team and outline lessons learned.
Article
Commuting demands considerable amount of time for a worker’s daytime. Numerous studies have shown the relationship between commuting and mood, and even job performance. Contradictory findings are also present in the literature regarding the association between commuting, mood, and job performance. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to examine the association between commuting, negative mood, and individual job performance, given the special focus on the mediating role of negative mood. Two hundred and twenty-siz participants were recruited via snowball sampling. Participants were asked to answer questions about commute duration and distance, to rate their mood upon arrival at work and to fill in Individual Work Performance Questionnaire. Results showed that commute duration and distance was associated with job performance through mood upon arrival at work. It is believed that this study provides valuable information regarding the mediating role of negative mood.