Validity and Reliability of a School Travel Survey

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

Despite the growing interest in active (ie, nonmotorized) travel to and from school, few studies have explored the measurement properties to assess active travel. We evaluated the criterion validity and test–retest reliability of a questionnaire with a sample of young schoolchildren to assess travel to and from school, including mode, travel companion, and destination after school.

Methods:

To assess test–retest reliability, 54 children age 8 to 11 years completed a travel survey on 2 consecutive school days. To assess criterion validity, 28 children age 8 to 10 years and their parents completed a travel survey on 5 consecutive weekdays.

Results:

test–retest reliability of all questions indicated substantial agreement. The questions on mode of transport, where you will go after school, and how you will get there also displayed substantial agreement between parental and child reports.

Conclusions:

For this population, a questionnaire completed by school-age children to assess travel to and from school, including mode, travel companion, and destination after school, was reliably collected and indicated validity for most items when compared with parental reports.

Evenson is with the Dept of Epidemiology; Neelon, Ball, and Vaughn, the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention; and Ward, the Dept of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC 27514. Neelon is also with the Dept of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.