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Table 4 Overview of studies reporting on the psychometric properties of active transportation measurement tools

From: A systematic review of active transportation research in Africa and the psychometric properties of measurement tools for children and youth

Lead author [reference] Countries Sample size* Age or grade Type of measure Destinations Psychometric data
Bere [48] Norway 106 (39B, 67G) 11-12 years Child report To/from school Test and retest conducted 14 days apart. Children reported the number of trips to/from school they do by walking, cycling, car and bus in a usual week. Spearman correlations were 0.85-0.92 for the number of school trips made by each mode. Kappa of 0.93 for the determination of main school travel mode based on reported frequency.
Brug [49] Belgium, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain 720 (for test-retest) 11.6 ± 0.7 years Child report To/from school Test and retest conducted one week apart. ICC was reported for the mode of transport on previous day (0.79), and the number of minutes cycled (0.81) or walked (0.70) to school
de Wit [50] New Zealand 118 + parents 7.1 ± 1.6 years Child and parent report To school Test-retest reliability (3-4 hours apart): percent agreement (97%); kappa for child reports (0.96; 95% CI = 0.92-1.00). Convergent validity between child and parent reports: percent agreement (93%); kappa (0.91; 95% CI = 0.85-0.98)
Ducheyne [51] Belgium 69 (41B, 27G) + parents 10.5 ± 1.1 years Child and parent report Cycling to/from school and other destinations Test and retest conducted one week apart. ICC = 0.94 for child reported school travel time and distance. Corresponding ICCs for parent reports were 0.96 and 0.97. ICCs for the number of non-school cycling trips on weekdays and weekends days were 0.44 and 0.64. Concurrent validity: Pearson correlation between child reported distance and shortest car path distance was 0.45
Evenson [52] United States 480 (all girls) Grades 6 and 8 Child report To school Test and retest conducted a median of 12 days apart. ICC for the number of days engaging in AT in the past week = 0.60 (95% CI = 0.52-0.67).
Evenson [53] United States 8-11 years Child and parent report To/from school Test-retest reliability one day apart. Kappa = 0.79-1.00 for items on travel mode to and from school, accompaniment, and number of walk or bike trips during the week. Convergent validity between child and parent reports: kappa = 0.80 (0.71-0.89) for school travel mode and ICC = 0.55 (0.24-0.76) for number of AT trips during the week
Heelan [54] United States 320 (141B, 179G) + parents 10.2 ± 0.7 years Child and parent report To/from school Test and retest conducted 2 days apart. Percentage agreement between child reports = 97%. Convergent validity of child and parent reports = 97.5%. Correlation of distance between children’s home and school estimated by Expedia.com and measured distance (Rolatape measuring wheel) = 0.91.
Hermoso [55] Spain 291 (139B, 152G) 9-12 years Child report To/from school Test and retest conducted 14 days apart. The study examined 3 different seasons. Kappa values ranged between 0.81 and 0.87 and percent agreement form 91% to 93% with no difference between genders and seasons.
Kelly [56] United Kingdom 17 (6B, 11G) 13-15 years Wearable camera + child report All active trips On average, self-report journeys were 10 seconds longer than objectively measured (95% CI = -33 to 53), but the Bland-Altman limits of agreement were large (±501 seconds). Inter-rater reliability: kappa = 1.00 for coding travel mode and 0.99 for coding trip duration based on the camera. Convergent validity: correlation between self-reported and objectively measured journey times within-subject and between-subject = 0.89 and 0.92.
Larouche [57] Canada 22 (9B, 13G) 10-14 years Child report To/from school The volume of AT to/from school calculated by multiplying the number of reported active trips per week by the home-school distance estimated with Google Maps. Test and retest conducted 1 week apart. ICC = 0.87 for the volume of AT to/from school; Kappa = 0.77 for the classification of individuals as active vs. inactive travelers based on reported trip frequency.
McDonald [58] United States 542 + parents Kinder-garten to Grade 5 Child and parent report To/from school Test and retest for child and parent surveys conducted 1 day and 1 week apart respectively. Test-retest reliability: kappa for child-reported travel mode to and from school was 0.86 and 0.85 respectively. Kappa for the reliability of parent survey questions on travel mode, time and distance varied between 0.62 and 0.97. Convergent validity between child- and parent-reported travel mode to/from school: kappa ≥0.77.
Mendoza [59] United States 97 (42B, 55G) Grade 4 Child and parent report To/from school Test and retest conducted 4 hours apart. Test-retest reliability: kappa = 0.97. Convergent validity between child- and parent-reported travel mode was moderate (kappa = 0.52), but when combining the car and carpool survey options, it was much higher (kappa = 0.87)
Murtagh [13] Scotland 126 (74B, 52G) 8-9 years Step counts of the school trip To/from school Actigraph accelerometer step counts for 4 trips to and from school were averaged (mean = 2,262 steps); the internal consistency (Cronbach α) was 0.87. This measure was significantly predicted by children’s intention to engage in AT and habit strength (assessed in preceding week).
Oyeyemi [29] Nigeria 56 (25B, 31G) 12-18 years Child report To school Test and retest conducted over 2 consecutive weeks. ICC for the number of min/week of AT to school reported by youth was 0.45. [Adewale Oyeyemi, personal communication].
Philippaerts [60] Belgium 33 (10B, 23G) 14.4 ± 1.4 years Child report To/from school and other destinations Test and retest conducted 8 days apart. AT time was calculated as the sum of the reported time spent walking and cycling for transport. ICC for weekly school travel time, non-school travel and total travel were respectively 0.84, 0.72 and 0.72. Concurrent validity: reported AT time showed non-significant correlations with CSA accelerometer outputs.
Rodriguez [61] United States 51 (all girls) Grades 10 and 11 GPS/accelerometer and child report All walking trips 7 algorithms were used to identify walking trips from the combination of GPS and ActiGraph accelerometer. Concurrent validity: agreement between self-reported and GPS/accelerometer identified trips ranged from 0.33-0.48 at the person-day level (e.g., for the number of trips/day) and from 0.41-0.64 at the person level (e.g., mean number of trips/day). Agreement ranged between 86.4 and 100% for the location of trips that were both self-reported and identified.
Rosenberg [62] United States 287 + parents Children (5-11) and youth (12-18) Child and parent report Walking to/from school, parks and shops When ≥1 walking trip to a given destination was reported, participants were classified as “walkers” for this destination. Reliability was not reported for the walking questions. Predictive validity: several relationships between walking and Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale for Youth subscales were noted for all destinations based on both parent and youth reports (Rosenberg et al., [62]; Tables three-five).
Singh [63] Belgium, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain 826 10-12 years Child report To/from school Test and retest conducted 1 week apart (n = 730). ICC for 7 items on school travel mode and duration range from 0.70 to 0.94. Construct validity was examined by conducting interviews with a separate sample (n = 96). Following the interview, research staff completed the questionnaire based on the recorded and transcribed interviews. The child and staff questionnaires were compared (ICC = 0.59 to 0.84).
Suminski [64] United States N/A‡ Kinder-garten to Grade 5 Direct observa-tion To/from school Study staff observed 3 school entry points in 2 different schools for 3 days/week over 8 weeks during the 30 minutes before and after school. One day of measurement provided a reliable estimate of the number of children walking (r = 0.83; 95% CI = 0.61-0.97), while two days provided a better estimate (r = 0.97; 95% CI = 0.92-1.00). Inter-rater agreement for the number of children walking to and from school was 97% and 97.5% respectively. Bike trips were too infrequent to estimate reliability.
  1. Note: All included studies used cross-sectional designs for the assessment of reliability and validity. *The term “+ parents” is mentioned in the sample size column when parents of participants acted as “criterion” for the assessment of convergent validity. †In this study, separate samples were used for test-retest reliability (n = 54), and convergent validity (n = 28). ‡This study used direct observation, and there were no participants. B = boy; G = girl; AT = active transportation; IT = inactive transportation; GPS = global positioning system; PA = physical activity; ICC = intra-class correlation coefficient.