Webinar Series Resumes on Monday

The University of Maryland Urban Studies and Planning Program and
the National Center for Smart Growth’s 2016 Brown Bag Webinar Series continues with

Active Transportation Among Washington, DC Area Children

Presentation by:  
Jennifer D. Roberts University of Maryland

Monday, October 3, 2016
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM


Preinkert Field House - Conference Room 1112V
University of Maryland College Park

Parental perceptions of the built environment are important to consider when assessing the decline in youth active transportation behavior. The objective of the Built Environment and Active Play Study was to assess parental perceptions of home neighborhood built environment variables on youth active transportation behaviors among children in the Washington DC metropolitan area.  To explore these perceptions, a questionnaire was mailed to 2000 parents of children aged 7-12 within the metro area. Using multivariate regression analysis we found significantly lower odds of children engaging in walking when parents did not believe that there were crosswalks and signals on busy streets.  We also found higher odds of children taking public transportation when parents did not perceive the route to be simple for the children to walk. Based on these findings we conclude that parental perceptions of the built environment can significantly predict the extent to which youth engage in walking and use public transportation.

JENNIFER D. ROBERTS is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, School of Public Health and a Faculty Associate at the Maryland Population Research Center at the University of Maryland College Park.  Dr. Roberts is also the Director of the Public Health Outcomes and Effects of the Built Environment (PHOEBE) Laboratory.  Her research and teaching interests focus on the relationship between the built environment and physical activity in addition to its impact on obesity and other public health outcomes.  More specifically, much of her research has explored the dynamic relationship between environmental, social and cultural determinants of physical activity and using empirical evidence of this relationship to infer complex health outcome patterns among adults and children.