Attitudinal, Behavioral, and Environmental Correlates of Child and Parent Self-Efficacy in Walking to School

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Dec 17;14(12):1588. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14121588.


As a critical social cognitive construct, self-efficacy plays a determinant role in children's walking to school (WTS). However, little is known about factors that are underlying children's and parents' self-efficacy in WTS. The purpose of this study is to examine behavioral, attitudinal, and environmental correlates of child self-efficacy and parent self-efficacy in WTS, and to assess differences in the correlates of child versus parent self-efficacy. Data were collected from students (N = 1224) and parents (N = 1205) from 81 elementary schools across Texas in 2009-2012. Binary logistic regressions were conducted to identify significant factors that are associated with children's self-efficacy and parents' self-efficacy. Results from this study showed that the parent self-efficacy was more likely to be related to their own behaviors or attitudes, rather than the environmental factors or their child's input. The child self-efficacy, however, was influenced not only by their own and parental behaviors or attitudes, but also by environmental factors. This study suggests that both parental and child self-efficacy are important factors to be considered when making decisions about school transportation.

Keywords: attitude; behavior; child and parent self-efficacy; environment; walking to school.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Schools
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Texas
  • Transportation / methods*
  • Walking*