Evaluation of a Walking School Bus Program
Just two generations ago, walking or bicycling to school was the norm for a substantial number of US children, e.g. 48% of children walked or biked to school in 1969 versus only 13% in 2009. This decline occurred in the same timeframe as the childhood obesity epidemic, which is at record high levels in the US and affects low-income and ethnic minority children the most. This project will test "the walking school bus" (WSB) program, in which children walk to and from school with adults, and its impact on low-income, ethnic minority children's walking to school, physical activity, and risk for obesity. Ultimately, this line of research has the potential to provide a low-cost, easy to disseminate program to reduce risk of obesity and cancer for at-risk children.
The investigators Specific Aims among 3rd-5th grade children include:
SA1) To recruit 770 child-parent dyads from 22 elementary schools over 4 years and conduct a cluster randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of a WSB program on children's walking to school, physical activity, and BMI z-score over a school-year SA2) To collect and analyze data on individual-, school-, and macro-level influences on changes to children's walking to school resulting from the WSB program
The Primary Hypotheses to be tested, in comparison to control children, include:
H1) The WSB program will increase children's walking to school over a school-year.
H1a) Parents' outcome expectations and self-efficacy will mediate the relationship between the WSB and changes to children's walking to school.
H1b) Walkability, safety, and acculturation will moderate changes to children's walking to school.
H2) The WSB program will increase children's physical activity and decrease BMI z-scores over a school-year.
H3) The WSB program will increase school-level pedestrian safety behaviors over a school-year.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
|Official Title:||Evaluation of a Walking School Bus Program: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial|
- Weekly rate of children's active commuting to school [ Time Frame: 5-6 months ]
- Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity [ Time Frame: 5-6 months ]
- Body mass index z-score [ Time Frame: 5-6 months ]
|Study Start Date:||December 2012|
|Study Completion Date:||December 2016|
|Primary Completion Date:||August 2016 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
|Experimental: Walking school bus||
Behavioral: Walking School Bus
Children will have the option of walking to and/or from school with study staff who are trained in Safe Routes to School methods.
|No Intervention: Usual care|
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01626807
|United States, Washington|
|Seattle Children's Research Institute|
|Seattle, Washington, United States, 98145-5005|
|Principal Investigator:||Jason A Mendoza, MD, MPH||Seattle Children's Research Institute|