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Children’s Travel to School: Satisfaction, Current Mood, and Cognitive Performance
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4120-8823
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center. (SAMOT)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6570-6181
Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center. (SAMOT)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7475-680X
2016 (English)In: Transportation, ISSN 0049-4488, E-ISSN 1572-9435Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

We investigate whether travel mode, travel time, and travel activities influence children’s satisfaction with their travel to school, their current mood, and their cognitive performance after arriving at school. A sample of 344 children (165 girls) between the ages of 10 and 15 were recruited at five public schools in Värmland County, Sweden. Directly after arriving at school, the children rated; how they felt on two scales ranging from very sad to very happy and from very tired to very alert; filled out the Satisfaction with Travel Scale adapted for children; reported details about their journeys; and took a word-fluency test. The results showed that traveling by school bus and walking or cycling were experienced as having a higher quality than traveling by car. Children who engaged in conversation during their journeys reported a higher quality and more positive feelings than children who were passive during their journeys. A shorter journey was experienced as having a higher quality and resulting in more positive feelings. Children traveling for longer durations, and using their smartphones or doing a combination of activities during their journeys, performed better in the word-fluency test.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2016.
Keyword [en]
Children, School travel, Satisfaction, Current mood, Cognitive performance
National Category
Social Sciences Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-38305DOI: 10.1007/s11116-016-9705-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-38305DiVA: diva2:866680
Projects
SAMOT
Funder
VINNOVA, 2014-05335
Available from: 2015-11-03 Created: 2015-11-03 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Experiences of Everyday Travel: Through the Lens of a Child
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Experiences of Everyday Travel: Through the Lens of a Child
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis was to investigate how children experience their everyday travel. More specifically how do certain travel characteristics influence children’s current mood, experiences of their everyday travel, and their cognitive performance. The thesis consists of two papers (Papers I and II). In Paper I, 206 children (101 girls) in grade 4 (aged 10), in the city of Staffanstorp in Sweden, recorded all their journeys in a diary during one school week, along with reports of their travel mode, their current mood while travelling (ranging from very sad to very happy and from very tired to very alert), their activities on arrival, and their experiences regarding those activities. In Paper II, a sample of 344 children (165 girls) between the ages of 10 and 15 was taken at five public schools in Värmland County, Sweden. The children rated their current mood, filled out the Satisfaction with Travel Scale (capturing the travel experience), reported details about their journeys, and took a word-fluency test.

The findings show that children’s immediate affective experiences (current mood) vary with how they travel and where they go, and that there is a difference between boys’ and girls’ experiences. Children who travel by car experience the lowest degree of quality and activation, something which is also maintained throughout the school day (as the case with activation). Social activities during travel add to higher degree of quality and excitement, while solitary activities bring more stress. The findings further show that using a smartphone or doing a combination of activities during the journey results in better cognitive performance, as do longer traveling times. It is concluded that where and how children travel, what they do when traveling, and for how long they travel all affect children’s travel experiences, mood, and/or cognitive performance. This thesis sheds light on a neglected research area – which is the experiences of travel – through the lens of a child.

Abstract [en]

The purpose of this licentiate thesis is to examine how children experience their everyday travel. More specifically, do travel mode, travel time, and travel activities influence children’s experiences of their everyday travel, how they feel, and how they perform at school. In Paper 1 we investigate whether children’s moods, while travelling, vary with travel mode and destination. In Paper 2 we investigate whether children’s experiences of travel and current mood vary with travel mode, traveling time, and activities during travel. We also investigate whether the travel experience affects cognitive performance. The overall findings of the two studies suggest that where and how children travel, what they do when traveling, and for how long they travel all affect children’s travel experiences, moods, and cognitive performance. These novel findings bring important knowledge of the impact of a journey. Children are the next generation of traveler; how they experience their day-to-day travel may contribute toward their future travel behavior and influence how societies travel in the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad University Press, 2015. 30 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2015:52
Keyword
Children’s travel experience, current mood, travel mode, activities during travel, cognitive performance
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-38309 (URN)978-91-7063-671-4 (ISBN)
Presentation
2015-12-11, Agardhsalen, 11D 257, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
VINNOVA
Available from: 2015-11-23 Created: 2015-11-03 Last updated: 2015-11-23Bibliographically approved
2. Drivers of Children's Travel Satisfaction
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Drivers of Children's Travel Satisfaction
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic) [Artistic work]
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is twofold: Firstly, it explores the reasons parents state for choosing the car to take their children to school; Secondly, it investigates how the characteristics of the journey relate to children’s wellbeing, mood, and cognitive performance. This thesis consists of three papers (Papers I, II, and III). Participating in Paper I were 245 parents of schoolchildren aged between 10 and 15 in Värmland County, Sweden. These parents answered a questionnaire wherein they stated to what degree certain statements correlated with their decision to choose the car. In Paper II, 237 children in grade 4 (aged 10-11), in the City of Staffanstorp, Sweden, recorded all their journeys in a diary over one school week, also reporting on their travel mode, current mood while travelling, activities on arrival, and experiences vis-à-vis those activities. Participating in Paper III was a sample of 345 children aged between 10 and 15 attending five public schools in Värmland County, Sweden. These children rated their current mood, filled out the Satisfaction with Travel Scale (capturing the travel experience), reported details about their journeys, and took a word fluency test.

Parents’ wish to accompany their children to school, and the convenience of the car, both impact upon the travel mode decision. In addition, parents also seem to choose the car regardless of the distance between home and school. The findings further reveal that the mood children are in varies with how they travel and where they go, and that there is a difference between boys’ and girls’ experiences. Children who travel by car experience the lowest degree of quality and activation, something which is maintained throughout the school day (especially for girls). Social activities during travel bring a higher degree of quality and excitement, while solitary activities bring more stress. The findings further show that using a smartphone, or doing a combination of activities during the journey, results in better cognitive performance. Thus, it is concluded that the mode choice that parents make for their children correlates with those children’s mood and experience. Specifically, where and how children travel, what they do when they travel, and how long they travel for affect their experiences, mood, and/or cognitive performance.

Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is twofold. Firstly, it explores parents’ stated reasons for choosing the car for their children’s school journeys. Secondly, it investigates the relationship between the characteristics of a journey (i.e. travel mode, travel time, and activities conducted while travelling) and children’s wellbeing (through domain-specific satisfaction), current mood, and cognitive performance. The overall findings show that parents value the car both for its convenience and for the possibility of accompanying their children. Parents also use the car regardless of the distance between home and school. Travel affects children in various ways; for instance, doing certain activities while traveling can help boost cognitive performance and make children feel happy and excited. Notably, being passive during the journey makes children feel stressed and those who travel to school by car are the most tired during the school day. This implies that parents’ travel mode choice affects children’s wellbeing and cognitive performance. These insights are important when it comes to addressing current challenges relating to children’s day-to-day travel: How they experience their day-to-day travel may contribute toward how children travel in the future.

Abstract [sv]

Den här avhandlingen har två delsyften. Först undersöks vilka skäl föräldrar anger för varför deväljer att skjutsa sina barn till skolan med bil. Ett andra syfte är att undersöka hur detta val påverkarbarns mentala hälsa via självskattad upplevelse av skolresan och hur de känner sig vid ankomst(humör). Ytterligare ett syfte är att undersöka hur upplevelsen av skolresan påverkar hur barnenpresterar när de kommer till skolan. Avhandlingen innehåller tre artiklar. I Artikel I deltog 245föräldrar till barn i årskurs 4, 6 och 8 i värmländska skolor. Föräldrarna angav i vilken utsträckningolika skäl påverkar deras val att skjutsa barnen till skolan med bil. I artikel II deltog 237 barn (varav101 flickor) från årskurs 4 i Staffanstorp, Skåne. Barnen förde resdagbok över alla resor de gjordeunder en vecka. I dagboken beskrev de vart de reste, vilka färdmedel de använt, deras humör underresan (som skattades som ledsen-glad och trött-pigg), vilka aktiviteter de ägnat sig åt vidslutdestinationen samt deras upplevelser av dessa aktiviteter. I Artikel III deltog 345 barn frånårskurs 4, 6 och 8 i Värmland. Istället för resdagbok skattade barnen sitt humör, hur nöjda de varmed resan genom att fylla i Satisfaction with Travel Scale adapted for Children (STS-C), resedetaljersamt gjorde ett ordflödestest direkt vid ankomst i skolan.

Resultaten visar bland annat att föräldrars önskan att spendera tid med sina barn och praktiskaaspekter med bil ligger till grund för valet av bil. Huruvida det är ett långt eller kort avstånd tillskolan påverkar inte valet att använda bil. Barns humör varierar beroende på hur de reser(färdmedel) och vart de reser (destination). En skillnad observerades också mellan flickor ochpojkar och mellan olika årskurser där t.ex. fickor påverkades mer negativt av att resa med bil änpojkar. Barn som reser med bil till skolan är minst nöjda (upplevde en lägre grad av kvalitet) ochpå sämre humör (är känslomässigt mindre aktiva) vilket också håller i sig under skoldagen. Att ägnasig åt sociala aktiviteter (konversera med vänner och familj) under resan bidrar till en högre upplevdkvalitet och mer upprymdhet medan barn som ägnat sig åt aktiviteter utan sällskap upplever enhögre grad av stress. Resultaten visar också att barn som använder sin smartphone eller kombinerarolika aktiviteter under resan presterar bättre på kognitivt test.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2017. 61 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2017:41
Keyword
children’s travel, wellbeing, current mood, travel mode choice, activities during travel, cognitive performance, Barns reseupplevelse, humör, färdmedelsval, aktiviteter under resan, kognitiv prestation
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-64720 (URN)978-91-7063-818-3 (ISBN)978-91-7063-913-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-12-08, 11D227, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-11-17 Created: 2017-10-19 Last updated: 2017-11-17Bibliographically approved

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