The Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab is pleased to announce the release of a new article in Children, Youth, and Environments. Written by Food Lab faculty affiliate So-Ra Baek, Food Lab Principle Investigator Samina Raja and two Food Lab alums Nathan Attard and Maryam Khojasteh, the article examines Safe Routes to School programming in a suburban school district. Through exploring how the cultural backgrounds of caregivers influences their perceptions and attitudes of children’s active commuting, the authors draw conclusions for how cultural factors and perceptions of safety should be considered in the development of future Safe Routes to School programs.
This study explores how the cultural backgrounds of caregivers influence their perceptions and attitudes toward their children’s active commuting to school. Caregivers in a suburban school district reported low rates of active commuting among children. Domestic and foreign-born caregivers differed in their perceptions of safety from crime. In addition, foreign-born caregivers who are more acculturated tend to be more reluctant to allow children’s active commuting to school in the near future, compared to foreign-born caregivers who are less acculturated. Cultural factors and perceptions of safety from crime should be considered in the development of programs that promote active commuting to school.
Baek, So-Ra, Samina Raja, Nathan Attard, and Maryam Khojasteh. (2016). “Acculturating into (In)active Commuting to School: Differences between Children of Foreign-Born and U.S.-Born Caregivers.” Children, Youth and Environments. 26(1): 37-55.
Dr. So-Ra Baek is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. Her current research focuses on the connection between the built environment, physical activity, and health outcomes, particularly among marginalized populations including women, immigrants, and children. She is a Co-Principal Investigator of Safe Routes to School in the Sweet Home Central School District, a project supported by the Town of Amherst, New York that intends to increase rates of active commuting to school by the students in the town.
Dr. Samina Raja is an Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning and Adjunct Associate Professor of Community Health and Health Behavior at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. Her research, teaching, and public service focuses on the role of planning in building sustainable food systems and healthy communities. She is the Principal Investigator at the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab and serves as the Principal Investigator of Safe Routes to School in the Sweet Home Central School District.
Nathan Attard is a Research Analyst at the Institute for Community Health Promotion at SUNY Buffalo State, and was previously a research assistant in the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab. His research interests focus on active transportation, community food systems, and planning for public health.
Maryam Khojasteh is a Doctoral Student in the Department of City and Regional Planning, at the University of Pennsylvania, and formerly served as a research project assistant in the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab. Her research interests focus on community food systems, immigrant entrepreneurship, and health disparities.