Table 3

Independent associations between child and parental perceptions and child’s travel mode to school, stratified by distance from school

CharacteristicDistance to school less than 1 kmDistance to school 1–2 kmDistance to school over 2 km
n = 760n = 525n = 727
Travel by bikeTravel on footTravel by bikeTravel on footTravel by bikeTravel on foot
OR (95% CI) n = 89OR (95% CI) n = 533OR (95% CI) n = 65OR (95% CI) n = 211OR (95% CI) n = 32OR (95% CI) n = 61
Attitudinal factors
Its more convenient to take my child to school by car†0.03 (0.01 to 0.20)**0.07 (0.03 to 0.14)**0.04 (0.01 to 0.11)**0.06 (0.03 to 0.10)0.39 (0.13 to 0.92)*0.37 (0.19 to 0.75)**
I’m usually around to take my child to school†0.16 (0.10 to 0.54)**0.17 (0.09 to 0.39)**0.39 (0.20 to 0.75)**0.28 (0.17 to 0.45)**1.02 (0.33 to 3.11)0.76 (0.59 to 1.68)
Social support factors
Friend encouragement‡2.66 (1.66,4.26)**1.27 (0.88 to 1.63)1.95 (1.12 to 3.31)1.29 (0.76 to 1.97)0.41 (0.13 to 0.45)1.93 (1.01 to 3.69)
Parental encouragement‡3.74 (2.16 to 6.40)**3.22 (2.22 to 4.66)**5.50 (2.67 to 10.44)**2.82 (1.83 to 4.75)**2.91 (1.89 to 4.48)**5.47 (2.93 to 10.89)**
Physical and social environmental factors
Route environment
Concern about dangerous traffic en route to school†0.31 (0.14 to 0.73)**0.24 (0.14 to 0.40)**0.04 (0.01 to 0.15)0.17 (0.10 to 0.31)**0.13 (0.04 to 0.35)**0.29 (0.15 to 0.62)**
Concern about something happening to my child on the way to school†0.30 (0.16 to 0.52)**0.37 (0.25 to 0.57)**0.21 (0.02 to 0.37)**0.27 (0.18 to 0.42)**0.86 (0.37 to 1.99)0.54 (0.26 to 1.05)
Neighbourhood environment
Not allowed to play outside because my parents think its not safe‡0.37 (0.15 to 0.93)0.61 (0.25 to 2.79)0.90 (0.36 to 2.20)0.60 (0.31 to 1.17)0.91 (0.21 to 3.97)0.76 (0.20 to 2.23)
It is safe to walk or play in my neighbourhood during the day‡1.68 (0.88 to 3.34)1.89 (1.18 to 2.94)**0.85 (0.43 to 1.65)1.25 (0.74 to 2.11)1.24 (0.80 to 4.19)1.84 (0.47 to 3.24)
It is difficult to walk or play near my house because I don’t feel safe‡3.45 (0.87 to 10.0)1.10 (0.53 to 2.28)0.86 (0.25 to 2.19)0.88 (0.35 to 2.20)1.15 (0.43 to 3.09)0.66 (0.23 to 1.87)
Neighbourhood walkability score†1.04 (1.02 to 1.06)*1.05 (1.03 to 1.06)**1.09 (1.07 to 1.11)**1.06 (1.04 to 1.07)**1.01 (0.97 to 1.04)1.10 (1.08 to 1.11)**
Neighbourhood sense of community score†1.07 (0.99 to 1.10)**1.07 (1.05 to 1.08)**1.06 (1.02 to 1.09)*1.02 (0.98 to 1.05)1.0 (0.94 to 1.05)1.01 (0.95 to 1.06)
Urban–rural status
Town and Fringe2.45 (1.50 to 5.10)**0.99 (0.42 to 1.55)2.02 (0.85 to 4.76)1.25 (0.73 to 2.19)0.60 (0.12 to 2.84)0.93 (0.33 to 2.60)
Village, hamlet, isolated dwelling2.80 (1.30 to 5.60)**0.83 (0.24 to 1.41)3.03 (1.24 to 7.25)*0.64 (0.32 to 1.22)0.81 (0.44 to 2.40)0.39 (0.16 to 0.97)*
  • *p<0.05 **p<0.01

  • †Parent’s perceptions.

  • ‡Child’s perceptions.

  • §Composite scores of parental perceptions.

  • All analyses adjusted for age, gender, BMI, maternal active travel to work, car access and modelled distance to school. Travel by motorised mode is the reference outcome category in all models. The reference category is “disagree” for all predictor items except urban rural status, where the reference is “urban” and friend and parental encouragement where the reference category is “no”.