Walking behavior the role of childhood travel experience

Lama Bou Mjahed, Charlotte Frei, Hani S. Mahmassani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


With the growing interest in nonmotorized modes of transportation in general and walking in particular, there is an increasing need to understand the underlying motives and determinants of walking behavior. Active modes such as walking and biking can enhance public health and safety. As many cities seek to shift drivers out of their vehicles toward more active transportation modes by building the appropriate walking and biking infrastructure, research should capture the individual and community attributes that influence these travel mode choices. While this question has been addressed in the literature, through analysis of the role of neighborhood characteristics, walkability, self-selection, attitudes, and inertia, among others, the aim of this paper was to explore the role of childhood experience on these factors. To do so, this study gathered retrospective information through an attitudinal survey divided into sections pertaining to sociodemographics, neighborhood characteristics, residential location choice factors, and precollege travel experience. The survey results proved the existence of a relationship between travel behavior during childhood and the determinants of walking behavior during adulthood. The results also suggested that the determinants of walking differed on the basis of the individual's region of residence. These results might suggest that transportation policy at the childhood level could result in benefits not only during childhood but also throughout the life cycle of the individual.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-100
Number of pages7
JournalTransportation Research Record
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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