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Gender equity in health and the influence of intrapersonal factors on adolescent girls' decisions to bicycle to school

Jillian Frater and Simon Kingham

Journal of Transport Geography, 2018, vol. 71, issue C, 130-138

Abstract: Decreasing levels of physical activity and increasing prevalence of chronic health conditions including obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are global problems. Bicycling to school is a way to increase physical activity and reduce the prevalence of these conditions. In locations such as Christchurch, New Zealand, where adolescent girls cycle to school far less than boys, there is potential for a lack of gender equity in health. Focus groups were held with adolescent girls at three Christchurch high schools in 2012 and 2013. Separate focus groups were held for year 9/10 (13–14 years-old) and year 13 (16–17 years-old) girls. Girls' decisions to cycle to school were found to be affected by injunctive and descriptive cycling norms in relation to both friends and parents, in addition to concerns about image, being social, being feminine and shunning physical activity, gender attribution, cycling confidence and personal security concerns. To achieve gender equity in health and improve the health and the opportunities available to girls to independently engage in social, educational, vocational and sporting activities, it is necessary to take into account the intrapersonal factors that affect girls' decisions to cycle to school.

Keywords: Adolescent girls; Bicycle; Health equity; Intrapersonal factors; Gender (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:jotrge:v:71:y:2018:i:c:p:130-138