Family structure and park use among parents

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6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Despite the increasingly diversified family structure in the U.S., little research examines differences in park use between nontraditional and traditional family structures. Purpose: This study examines family-structure differences in parent park use. It was hypothesized that working single parents and dual-worker parents have lower levels of park use than parents in two-parent, single-worker families. Methods: Data from a 2010 park-use survey in three urban neighborhoods in Minneapolis MN (N=261 parents) were analyzed in 2012. Multiple variables of park use were developed, including recalled measures over the past 3 days and over the past year. Family-structure differences in these variables were examined using multivariate regression analyses. Results: After controlling for spatial clustering effects and confounding factors, working single parents reported 32.6% (p<0.10) fewer park visits and 62.0% (p<0.05) less time spent in parks in the past 3 days than parents in two-parent, single-worker families. Dual-worker parents did not report fewer park visits in the past 3 days than parents in two-parent, single-worker families, yet the length of time they spent in parks during these visits was 41.5% (p<0.10) less. Family-structure differences in past-year park-use measures were not significant. Conclusions: This research shows the importance of including family-structure variables and both recent and longer-term recalled measures of park use in park-use studies. Greater attention to the recreation needs of working single parents and dual-worker parents is needed in descriptive and intervention research aiming to promote park use among families with children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-526
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Volume43
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012

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