The Association Between Adolescent Active Commuting to School and Parent Walking Behavior: The FLASHE Study

Soyang Kwon*, Maryann Mason, Meme Wang-Schweig, Joanna Morrissey, Tami Bartell, Namratha R. Kandula

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To examine the relationship between adolescent active commuting to school (ACS; walking or biking to/from school) and parent walking activity. Design: Cross-sectional Setting: US nationwide online surveys Sample: 1367 parent-adolescent (12-17 years) dyads among the Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) study participants (29.4% response rate) Measures: Online surveys asked about adolescent ACS and parent walking activity in the past week. Adolescents who reported ACS at least once in the past week were categorized as engaging in ACS. Parent walking frequency was categorized into 0-2, 3-5, and 6-7 days. Analysis: Logistic regression analysis was conducted to compare the probability of adolescent ACS by parent walking activity, adjusted for sociodemographic factors and adolescent-, parent-, and neighborhood-level covariates. Results: 28.5% of adolescents engaged in ACS at least once in the past week. Compared to 0-2 days/week of parent walking activity, ORs for adolescent ACS for 3-5 and 6-7 days/week of parent walking activity were 1.98 (95% CI=1.38-2.87) and 1.81 (1.23-2.68), respectively. In stratified analyses by parent and adolescent sex, father-son dyads presented the strongest association between adolescent ACS and parent walking 3-5 and 6-7 days/week (ORs=4.17 [1.46-11.91] and 3.95 [1.45-10.77], respectively). Conclusions: Adolescents with parents who engaged in walking activity ≥3 days/week were more likely to actively commute to school. Parent walking activity may have positive intergenerational effects on adolescent ACS and physical activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • active transport
  • built environment
  • child
  • dyads
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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