Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 92, Issue 3, pp 472–489 | Cite as

Neighborhood Crime-Related Safety and Its Relation to Children’s Physical Activity

  • Stephanie H. Kneeshaw-Price
  • Brian E. Saelens
  • James F. Sallis
  • Lawrence D. Frank
  • David E. Grembowski
  • Peggy A. Hannon
  • Nicholas L. Smith
  • K. C. Gary Chan
Article

Abstract

Crime is both a societal safety and public health issue. Examining different measures and aspects of crime-related safety and their correlations may provide insight into the unclear relationship between crime and children’s physical activity. We evaluated five neighborhood crime-related safety measures to determine how they were interrelated. We then explored which crime-related safety measures were associated with children’s total moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and MVPA in their neighborhoods. Significant positive correlations between observed neighborhood incivilities and parents’ perceptions of general crime and disorder were found (r = 0.30, p = 0.0002), as were associations between parents’ perceptions of general crime and disorder and perceptions of stranger danger (r = 0.30, p = 0.0002). Parent report of prior crime victimization in their neighborhood was associated with observed neighborhood incivilities (r = 0.22, p = 0.007) and their perceptions of both stranger danger (r = 0.24, p = 0.003) and general crime and disorder (r = 0.37, p < 0.0001). After accounting for covariates, police-reported crime within the census block group in which children lived was associated with less physical activity, both total and in their neighborhood (beta = −0.09, p = 0.005, beta = −0.01, p = 0.02, respectively). Neighborhood-active children living in the lowest crime-quartile neighborhoods based on police reports had 40 min more of total MVPA on average compared to neighborhood-active children living in the highest crime-quartile neighborhoods. Findings suggest that police reports of neighborhood crime may be contributing to lower children’s physical activity.

Keywords

Crime Neighborhood Children Physical activity 

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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie H. Kneeshaw-Price
    • 1
    • 2
  • Brian E. Saelens
    • 3
    • 4
  • James F. Sallis
    • 5
  • Lawrence D. Frank
    • 6
    • 7
  • David E. Grembowski
    • 2
  • Peggy A. Hannon
    • 2
  • Nicholas L. Smith
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
  • K. C. Gary Chan
    • 2
    • 11
  1. 1.New Jersey State Department of HealthFamily Centered Care ServicesTrentonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health ServicesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Center for Child Health, Behavior and DevelopmentSeattle Children’s Research InstituteSeattleUSA
  5. 5.Department of Family and Preventive MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  6. 6.Schools of Population and Public Health and Community and Regional PlanningUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  7. 7.Urban Design 4 Health, Inc.SeattleUSA
  8. 8.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  9. 9.Seattle Epidemiologic Research and Information Center of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and DevelopmentUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  10. 10.Group Health Research InstituteUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  11. 11.Department of BiostatisticsUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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