The effect of siblings and family dog ownership on children's independent mobility to neighbourhood destinations

Hayley E. Christian, K. Villanueva, C.D. Klinker, Matthew Knuiman, Mark Divitini, B. Giles-Corti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Public Health Association of Australia
Objective: To investigate the effect of sibling age, gender and dog ownership on children's independent mobility and how this varies according to the destination visited. Methods: Parents reported whether their child had an older sibling; if the child and older sibling were of the same gender; the number of older siblings; if they owned a dog; and whether their child was allowed to independently travel to school, friends’ or family house, park/oval/sporting field and local shop. Data were analysed for 181 children aged 8–15 years. Results: The strongest significant sibling effect for independently mobility to school, local shop and ≥3 destinations was for having an older sibling of the same gender (p≤0.05). For independent mobility to a friend's house and park, the strongest significant sibling effect was for having one older sibling (p≤0.05). Dog ownership was associated with increased odds of being independently mobile to ≥3 destinations (OR=2.43; 95%CI=1.03–5.74). Conclusions: Parents may be more likely to grant children licence to travel to local places if they are accompanied by an older sibling or the family dog. Implications: Understanding the effects of siblings and dog ownership on children's independent mobility will assist in identifying strategies through which independent mobility can be encouraged.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-318
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
Early online date15 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


Cite this