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ERIC Number: ED517601
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 378
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-4126-1
What Drives Parents? A Case Sensitive Inquiry into Parents' Mode Preferences for the Journey to School
Zuniga, Kelly Draper
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Colorado at Denver
This dissertation uses a case-sensitive approach to examine an active travel intervention's diverse target population. It builds on a series of travel choice models, and draws key conceptual themes from Chapin's (1974) human activity model, which highlights opportunity-related and propensity-related factors associated with behaviors. The research addresses two key issues. First, planning research about active travel emphasizes environmental influences on travel mode and focuses on obstacles to active travel, assuming that parents would walk if they could: Second, previous research diminishes variance in travel behavior as it identifies "most important" factors associated with travel mode. I used case-sensitive mixed methods to investigate parents' perceptions of school travel, and to consider their propensity in addition to their opportunity to walk. I conducted my research in two phases with 12 schools that participated in 2007-2008 SR2S non-infrastructure programs. In phase one, I analyzed 65 short, semi-structured interviews with parents from 12 Denver elementary schools to identify local school commuting issues. In phase two, I used cluster analysis of Q-sort activity completed by 650 parents from seven of the schools to identify and characterize attitude-based subgroups of parents. My qualitative study revealed disparity in parents' perceptions of travel related issues, which acknowledged variance in travel behavior, and also indicated variations in parents' opportunity and propensity to walk children to school. More importantly, that portion of the research provided data to further examine attitudinal diversity about active travel in Denver's public elementary schools. My quantitative study found that opportunity and propensity were positively, albeit weakly correlated. However, it also found that travel characteristics were "not" a function of opportunity and propensity alone, as Chapin's (1974) human activity model suggested. Rather, parents that belonged to subgroups with positive attitudes about active travel described shades of travel behavior between "typically walk" and "typically drive". These findings suggest that intervention tailored to address specific issues and motivations could encourage parents to walk more often even if they already walk part of the time. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado