Reliability and validity of destination-specific barriers to walking and cycling for youth

Holly Forman, Jacqueline Kerr, Gregory J Norman, Brian E Saelens, Nefertiti H Durant, Sion K Harris, James F Sallis
Preventive Medicine 2008, 46 (4): 311-6

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the psychometric properties of a new measure of barriers youth encounter while walking to specific destinations and to validate the measure with self-reported walking to these destinations.

METHODS: In 2005 in Boston, Cincinnati and San Diego, parents of youth (n=289, aged 5-18) and adolescents (n=189, aged 12-18) completed surveys in a two-week test-retest study design. Seventeen items assessed participant agreement with the influence of different barriers to walking or cycling to three types of destinations: 1) parks, 2) shops and restaurants and 3) school. Participants also reported whether or not they walked or cycled to the destinations at least once a week.

RESULTS: Principal components analysis identified three barrier subscales labeled 'environmental', 'psychosocial/planning', and 'safety', which were consistent across the three destinations and two respondent groups. Internal consistency for the subscales was good (alphas> .70) and two-week test-retest reliability was moderately high (ICCs .56-.81) for both parents and adolescents for all destinations. Psychosocial and environmental barriers were higher in adolescents who did not walk (p< .003). Parents of younger children reported high environmental barriers.

CONCLUSION: The three barrier subscales to active commuting to multiple destinations demonstrated good reliability and some initial evidence of validity.

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