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ERIC Number: EJ1073695
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-4391
Middle School Students' Perceptions of Safety: A Mixed-Methods Study
Sweeney, Shannon M.; Von Hagen, Leigh Ann
Journal of School Health, v85 n10 p688-696 Oct 2015
Background: Active travel to school has been on the decline, despite its beneficial influence on children's current and future well-being. Adults' safety perceptions have been shown to influence children's active travel. Children's perceptions, particularly of safety, may be an important link not only to their present health and travel behaviors, but also their future health and behaviors. This study examined middle school students' perceptions of the built environment and safety. Methods: Overall, 776 students from 3 schools in Hudson County, New Jersey participated in a visual survey and structured, interactive classroom discussions. Emergent themes from the discussions were tested using multivariate statistical models. Results: Findings suggest that older students, boys, and students who self-identified as black, rated built environment scenes as safer. Students also perceived being near adults, traveling in a group, and using crosswalks as significantly safer and want additional recognition of these to further improve safety. Students perceived that being near a school, in daylight, and aesthetics as factors contributing to safety. Conclusions: Schools and municipalities may increase programs for students to travel in groups, prioritize maintenance in school zones, and increase the number of crossing guards, particularly outside the immediate school proximity to further improve safety.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Federal Highway Administration (DOT)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A