Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

Active Living for Rural Youth

Duration: 
1/1/2007 - 1/31/2007
Director: 
Anush Hansen
Principal Investigator: 
David Hartley
Abstract: 

This project will investigate how and where rural youth in Maine are physically active, and will help to define the built and natural environmental factors that support and limit daily physical activity of youth in rural communities. Through qualitative data collection, students in grades 4-12 in 3 selected rural, low-income Maine communities will provide information about their physical activity patterns and their perceptions of physical and social environments that support or create barriers to physical activity. This information will be used to develop hypotheses and create a conceptual model about environmental and policy characteristics that positively and/or negatively impact physical activity of youth specifically in rural areas. The conceptual model will draw from the existing "3 D" model used in the urban planning and transportation fields, which defines the core dimensions of built environments as density, diversity, and design. The 3 D model will be adapted to fit into a rural context, and used to develop measures of the environment (both natural and built) in rural communities and assess how those measured environmental characteristics affect the physical activity of youth. This project provides a strategic opportunity to increase the School's Public Health capacity and foster collaboration between academic and research programs (CPD & IHP).

Start Date: 
Mon, 2007-01-01
End Date: 
Wed, 2007-01-31
Legacy Muskie ID: 
3 988