Sociodemographic and Built Environment Associates of Travel to School by Car Among New Zealand Adolescents: Meta-analysis
Travelling to school by car diminishes opportunities for physical activity and contributes to traffic congestion and associated noise and air pollution. This meta-analysis examined sociodemographic characteristics and built environment associates of travelling to school by car compared to using active transport among New Zealand (NZ) adolescents. Four NZ studies (2163 adolescents) provided data on participants’ mode of travel to school, individual and school sociodemographic characteristics, distance to school and home-neighbourhood built-environment features. A one-step meta-analysis using individual participant data was performed in SAS. A final multivariable model was developed using stepwise logistic regression. Overall, 60.6% of participants travelled to school by car. When compared with active transport, travelling to school by car was positively associated with distance to school. Participants residing in neighbourhoods with high intersection density and attending medium deprivation schools were less likely to travel to school by car compared with their counterparts. Distance to school, school level deprivation and low home neighbourhood intersection density are associated with higher likelihood of car travel to school compared with active transport among NZ adolescents. Comprehensive interventions focusing on both social and built environment factors are needed to reduce car travel to school.