The impact of parents' fear of strangers and perceptions of informal social control on children's independent mobility

Foster, S, Villanueva, K, Wood, L, Christian, H and Giles-Corti, B 2014, 'The impact of parents' fear of strangers and perceptions of informal social control on children's independent mobility', Health and Place, vol. 26, pp. 60-68.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title The impact of parents' fear of strangers and perceptions of informal social control on children's independent mobility
Author(s) Foster, S
Villanueva, K
Wood, L
Christian, H
Giles-Corti, B
Year 2014
Journal name Health and Place
Volume number 26
Start page 60
End page 68
Total pages 9
Publisher Pergamon Press
Abstract Declines in children's independent mobility are commonly attributed to parents' fear of strangers, yet few empirical studies have investigated this relationship. We examined: (1) the impact of parents' fear of strangers on children's independent mobility; and (2) whether informal social control (i.e., parents' confidence that other residents would look out for local children) mitigated any association. Gender stratified logistic regression models tested these associations for 10-12 year-olds and their parents (n=1231) in Perth, Australia. For girls, parental fear of strangers was associated with lower odds of independent mobility (OR=0.71, p=0.002), and informal social control and other social and built environment variables had little attenuating influence. This pattern was consistent for boys; however odds ratios were lower and statistical significance weaker. Initiatives that target parental fears combined with interventions that normalise children's walking may help increase independent mobility.
Subject Epidemiology
Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Children
Independent mobility
Parental fear
Physical activity
Stranger danger
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.healthplace.2013.11.006
Copyright notice © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN 1353-8292
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