Impact of COVID-19 on adolescent travel behavior

J Transp Health. 2022 Mar:24:101326. doi: 10.1016/j.jth.2021.101326. Epub 2022 Jan 5.


Introduction: The outbreak of COVID-19 has significantly impacted travel behavior. However, few studies have analyzed the impact of COVID-19 on adolescent travel behavior. This article analyzed the impact of COVID-19 on adolescent travel behavior using questionnaire survey data.

Methods: This paper first used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to explore the psychological factors related to the adolescents' perceptions about the severity of COVID-19. The study then established a logit model to study the effects of COVID-19 in different phases (before, during, and after the epidemic peak), demographic characteristics, and the role of psychological factors on their travel behavior.

Results: The results show that the phase of COVID-19 did not significantly impact the adolescents' choice of short-distance travel. The frequency of outings per week, the number of exercise sessions per week, and willingness to travel by public transportation decreased significantly in the outbreak phase. Meanwhile, the perception of the severity of COVID-19 significantly impacted adolescent travel behavior.

Conclusion: This research demonstrates that COVID-19 has led adolescents to reduce their frequency of outings, and they try not to use public transportation. Adolescents appear to be traveling more cautiously in the outbreak phase and the post-epidemic phase.

Keywords: Adolescents; Logit model; Psychological factors; Travel behavior; Urban traffic.