, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 523–543 | Cite as

The role of socio-economic, built environment and psychological factors in parental mode choice for their children in an Iranian setting

  • Milad Mehdizadeh
  • Trond Nordfjaern
  • AmirReza Mamdoohi


This research investigated the role of parental psychological and socio-economic factors as well as built environment for the choice of their children’s (primary school pupils, aged 7–9 years) travel mode to school in Rasht, Iran. A total of 1078 questionnaires were distributed (return rate of 80 percent) among pupils in nine primary schools in January 2014. A mixed logit (ML) model was employed due to its ability to test heterogeneity among parents and also to determine its possible sources. Results of random coefficient ML modelling showed that several psychological, socio-economic and built environment characteristics were significant factors in parental mode choice. Only walking time perception to school had a significant random normal distribution coefficient and no other psychological and socio-economic variable had a random effect. Further investigation by random coefficient analysis showed that the possible source of household preference heterogeneity could be to own two or more cars. Regarding psychological variables, strong parental worry about their children walking alone to school had a negative impact on allowing them to walk to school. Parents who evaluated poor contextual and design preconditions for walking tended to choose school service more than private car and walking. Parents with stronger environmental personal norms were more willing to allow their children to walk. The findings suggest that infrastructural measures, such as sidewalk facilities, neighborhood security and safety, encourage parents to allow children to walk to school. Information campaigns targeting environmental norms may increase walking among pupils in an Iranian setting.


Mixed logit Psychological factors School trips Mode choice Random coefficient analysis 



We would like to express our warmest appreciation and gratitude to all the Rasht city primary school administrators, pupils, teachers and anonymous parents who kindly assisted us in the completion of the research questionnaire.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milad Mehdizadeh
    • 1
  • Trond Nordfjaern
    • 2
  • AmirReza Mamdoohi
    • 1
  1. 1.Transportation Planning Department, Civil & Environmental Eng. FacultyTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran
  2. 2.Norwegian Institute of Public HealthOsloNorway

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