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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Validity of surveys to assess safe routes to school programs

item Mendoza, Jason
item Watson, Kathy
item Baranowski, Tom
item Nicklas, Theresa

Submitted to: International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2009
Publication Date: 6/1/2009
Citation: Mendoza, J., Watson, K., Baranowski, T., Nicklas, T. 2009. Validity of surveys to assess safe routes to school programs [abstract]. In: The International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Abstract Book, June 17-20, 2009, Lisbon, Portugal. p. 254.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs are designed to make walking and bicycling to school safe and accessible for children. Despite the growing popularity of these programs, few validated measures exist for assessing important outcomes such as type of student transport and pedestrian safety behaviors. Thus, we validated surveys on school transport and pedestrian safety behaviors. For the school transport survey, 4th grade students completed a brief written survey on how they got to school that day with set responses. Test-retest reliability was repeated 3-4 hours apart. Validity of the school transport survey was determined by comparison to parents' report. For pedestrian safety behaviors, 10 research assistants observed 29 students at a school intersection for completion of 8 selected pedestrian safety behaviors. Validity of the pedestrian safety behaviors instrument was determined by determining correlations between the research assistants' ratings to that of the PI; reliability was assessed with intraclass correlations across research assistant ratings. The school transport survey had high test-retest reliability (K=0.97, n=96, p<0.001) and validity (K=0.87, n=81, p<0.001). The pedestrian safety behaviors survey had fair validity correlations (r=0.44, p=<0.01, Spearman rank test) and reliability by intraclass correlations (ICC=0.48). When two raters simultaneously used the instrument, the ICC increased to 0.65. Overall sensitivity (85%) and specificity (83%) were acceptable. These validated surveys can be used to assess SRTS programs. The pedestrian safety behaviors observational instrument may benefit from further formative work.

Last Modified: 07/26/2017
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