Differences in subjective and objective safety may be explained by moderators that shape parental perceptions of the environment. This study examined associations between subjective and objective measures of traffic and crime safety in preschool parents (N = 240) and potential moderators. Community cohesion, social control, and physical activity parenting practices were measured. Objective measures of crime and traffic were measured at the block-group level. Linear models revealed perceived traffic was negatively associated with the traffic hazards (b = -0.03; 95 % CI: -0.05, -0.01; p = .041). Acculturation moderated the relationship between perceptions of disorder and crime (b = 0.001; 95 % CI: 0.000, 0.003; p = .044). Poor community cohesion moderated the relationship between perceptions of disorder and crime (b = 0.0015; 95 % CI: 0.0002, 0.0028; p = .028). Perceived traffic safety was associated with the traffic hazard index in parents of boys (b = -0.04; 95 % CI: -0.07, -0.01; p = .027). Acculturation and community cohesion can be used to align misperceptions of safety to actual safety to promote outdoor play.
Keywords: Acculturation; Cohesion; Moderation; Parental perceptions; Parenting practices; Physical activity.