In the driving seat: psychosocial benefits from private motor vehicle transport compared to public transport

Ellaway, A., Macintyre, S., Hiscock, R. and Kearns, A. (2003) In the driving seat: psychosocial benefits from private motor vehicle transport compared to public transport. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 6(3), 217-231.. (doi:10.1016/S1369-8478(03)00027-5)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1369-8478(03)00027-5

Abstract

The aim of current transport policy in the UK and many other developed countries is to reduce reliance on private motor vehicle transport in order to promote public health and reduce environmental degradation. Despite the emphasis in these policies on the unhealthiness of private motor car use, epidemiological studies have consistently shown that car access is associated with longevity and better health. We examine this paradox using a postal survey of adults in the West of Scotland (n=2043, m=896, f=1147) to investigate the psychosocial benefits associated with private and public motor vehicle transport. Those with access to a car appear to gain more psychosocial benefits (mastery, self esteem, and feelings of autonomy, protection, and prestige) than public transport users from their habitual mode of transport. Being a car driver conferred more benefits than being a passenger, except for self esteem which was only associated with driving among men. Self-esteem was also associated with type of car among men but not women. This study suggests that if people are to be encouraged to reduce private motor vehicle use, policies need to take into account some of the psychosocial benefits people might derive from such use.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ellaway, Dr Anne and Macintyre, Professor Sally and Kearns, Professor Ade
Authors: Ellaway, A., Macintyre, S., Hiscock, R., and Kearns, A.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Centre for Population and Health Sciences
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
ISSN:1369-8478
ISSN (Online):1873-5517

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