Impacts of Residential Self-Selection and Built Environments on Children's Walking-to-School Behaviors Academic Article uri icon


  • Despite the growing effort to promote walking to school through environmental interventions, the corresponding impact of residential self-selection has not been examined. This study investigated how built environments, social factors, and personal factors, including self-selection of a close-to-childs-school home and a walkable neighborhood, influenced walking-to-school behaviors. Parental survey data from 20 elementary schools in Austin, Texas, were analyzed using structural equation models. Significant factors included self-selection variables, parental education, car ownership, number of adults/children in the household, school bus availability, parental perceived home-to-school distance, and the presence of convenience stores, bus stops, and office buildings en route to school. The self-selection of a close-to-childs-school home had a smaller effect on walking-to-school behaviors than parental perception of home-to-school distance. The self-selection of a walkable neighborhood was significant, while parental perception of their neighborhoods walkability was insignificant. Future efforts to promote walking to school should include both environmental interventions and educational programs.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Yu, C., & Zhu, X.

citation count

  • 30

complete list of authors

  • Yu, Chia-Yuan||Zhu, Xuemei

publication date

  • April 2015