Fears of Violence During Morning Travel to School

Key takeaway:

  • In this study of school-aged children, concerns about safety from violence/crime while traveling to school was common, and feelings of safety were associated with aspects of the environmental context like neighborhood disadvantage, density of alcohol outlets, and crime rates.


  • 41.5% of children felt very safe from risk of assault during their entire trip to school, but 58.5% felt were afraid of being assaulted at some point during the trip.
  • Children generally felt safer when traveling with an adult family member and less safe when traveling with another child.
  • Minimum safety level was not related to time of travel to school, but living in an area with greater neighborhood disadvantage was related to lower perceived safety.
  • Areas with higher crime rates and density of alcohol outlets were associated with lower perceived safety.
  • Children were more likely to report higher perceived safety when traveling by car or foot than traveling by bus or trolley.


  • This research used a subset of 10 to 18-year-olds from the Space-Time Adolescent Risk Study. Participants were 65 randomly selected African American males from Philadelphia and were interviewed about changes in perceived safety from risk of assault on the way to school.


Wiebe, D. J., Guo, W., Allison, P. D., . (2013). Fears of Violence During Morning Travel to School. Journal of Adolescent Health, 53(1), 54–61. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.01.023

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