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Open AccessArticle

Disparities in Quality of Park Play Spaces between Two Cities with Diverse Income and Race/Ethnicity Composition: A Pilot Study

Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health Professions, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1530 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
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Academic Editors: Harry Timmermans, Astrid Kemperman and Pauline van den Berg
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8009-8022; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708009
Received: 26 May 2015 / Accepted: 8 July 2015 / Published: 14 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of the Built Environment on Public Health)
This study investigated the differences in the quality of park play spaces between an affluent and a non-affluent community in a large US Southeastern metropolitan area. Two cities were purposefully selected to reflect differences in household income and race/ethnicity characteristics. Using the Playable Space Quality Assessment Tool (PSQAT), all parks (n = 11, with six in the affluent city, and five in the non-affluent city) in these two cities were evaluated. The data were analyzed across three aspects of environmental features of the PSQAT: Location, Play Value and Care and Maintenance between parks in the two cities. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to test the study hypotheses. Results indicated significant differences between parks in the two cities in all three aspects of the PSQAT with p-values ≤ 0.03 and effect sizes of > 0.65, suggesting that the affluent city had parks of a higher quality than the non-affluent city. Significant disparity in Play Value (p = 0.009) in parks between these two communities suggests that children and young people are likely to have different experiences of the play spaces in their locality and therefore may experience different physical and psychological health benefits. View Full-Text
Keywords: built environment; environmental justice; parks; play value; play spaces built environment; environmental justice; parks; play value; play spaces
MDPI and ACS Style

Jenkins, G.R.; Yuen, H.K.; Rose, E.J.; Maher, A.I.; Gregory, K.C.; Cotton, M.E. Disparities in Quality of Park Play Spaces between Two Cities with Diverse Income and Race/Ethnicity Composition: A Pilot Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 8009-8022.

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