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Healthy travel and child socialisation: policy implications for social and cultural change

Baslington, Hazel (2007) Healthy travel and child socialisation: policy implications for social and cultural change. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

The way people travel has a substantial impact on health. Over reliance on car transportation has personal as well as social health effects. This thesis reports research designed to investigate the role of cultural factors on children's travel. It examined the home and the school in a project that had theoretical and practical objectives. Theoretically the research sought to ascertain if there is transmission of parental attitudes, norms and patterns of travel behaviour to children. A practical objective was to determine if school travel initiatives are effective in reducing car dependency for school journeys. The primary argument is that children learn about travel modes in the same way as other aspects of culture, through agents of socialisation: the family, school, media and peer groups. The findings were used to develop a social theory of travel mode behaviour, 'travel socialisation'. This focuses on behaviour in the context of the culture in which people live, examining the role of every day life on travel. A secondary argument is that to remove 'car dependency' involves changing the social and cultural emphasis on cars as a mode of transport. There is a need to tackle this from a social policy approach rather than just a 'travel demand' management perspective. The policy implications of the findings address how children, as the next generation of adults, should be socialised to avoid future dependency on car transportation. These include measures aimed at families, employers and everyone who shares the community. A 'mixed methods' research design utilised qualitative and quantitative data and the main conclusions were strengthened by methodological triangulation. A 'comparative methods' approach was used in the design and analysis of the research instruments. Key variables were 'number of cars in household' and 'type of school attended'. Primary school children completed travel diaries, pictorial questionnaires and some participated in focus groups. Parents and key persons in schools completed a questionnaire and some were interviewed. A documentary analysis of the governmental school travel plan promotional literature was undertaken.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > Institute of Transport Studies (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.524511
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2010 10:16
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:23
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1033

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