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Roaming the Neighbourhood: Influences of Independent Mobility Parenting Practices and Parental Perceived Environment on Children’s Territorial Range

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School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, 2329 West Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
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British Columbia Children’s Hospital Research Institute, 4480 Oak St., Vancouver, BC V6H 3N1, Canada
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Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, 2329 West Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
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School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen’s University, 99 University Ave., Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3129; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173129
Received: 1 August 2019 / Revised: 26 August 2019 / Accepted: 27 August 2019 / Published: 28 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Children's Health)
Children’s independent mobility (IM), their freedom to move about their neighbourhood without supervision by adults, has been in steady decline in recent decades. Previous research has linked perceptions of the environment with various measures of IM, but recently concerns have been raised regarding inconsistency in measuring IM. This study used various measures of IM and aimed to address how parental perceptions of the neighbourhood environment are associated with children’s territorial range (actual IM), as well as how this relationship is mediated by IM parenting practices (allowed IM). A sample of 105 child/parent dyads from Vancouver, Canada participated in this study. Children (age 10–13) wore a global positioning system (GPS) watch and an accelerometer and completed an activity diary for seven days to assess their territorial range. Parents completed a questionnaire that assessed perceptions of their neighbourhood environment and IM parenting practices—license for IM and roaming allowance. Path analyses were used to address the research aims. License for IM and roaming allowance mediated the relationship between perceived walking facilities, crime safety, and neighbourhood relations and children’s territorial range. Findings suggest that future interventions to increase children’s territorial range should focus primarily on attitude and behaviour change among parents to grant children more freedom. View Full-Text
Keywords: independent mobility; activity spaces; neighbourhood activity independent mobility; activity spaces; neighbourhood activity
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Vlaar, J.; Brussoni, M.; Janssen, I.; Mâsse, L.C. Roaming the Neighbourhood: Influences of Independent Mobility Parenting Practices and Parental Perceived Environment on Children’s Territorial Range. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3129.

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