Exploring Children’s School Travel, Psychological Well-Being, and Travel-Related Attitudes: Evidence from Primary and Secondary School Children in Vienna, Austria

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Travel Behaviour and Society




Elsevier BV

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In line with global trends of declining physical activity and growing obesity, children’s school travel nowadays is often characterized by being driven to school instead of walking and cycling. In order to counter these trends one needs to understand children’s travel behavior and mobility needs. In that regard, one underexplored task is if and how transport modes relate to children’s well-being. This study aims to evaluate the connections between children’s subjective psychological well-being, mode use and attitudes. A sample of children from three primary and two secondary schools in the City of Vienna reported their mood and alertness on and after school trips along with travel mode use, preferences, and attitudes. The results showed that children’s psychological well-being was related to the travel modes they used and their preferences and attitudes towards those modes. The association between mode use and PWB was positive for active travel but weak. Age differences were also apparent – younger children preferred active travel modes for school and leisure trips, while older children had more positive attitudes and stronger preferences for car use – foreshadowing potential travel behavior changes as children approach young adulthood and become more independent.

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