2020 Built Environment Physical Activity Publication

Parents in highly disadvantaged neighborhoods more likely to restrict children’s play

Today’s parents are restricting their children’s outdoor play, but children in highly disadvantaged neighborhoods face more restrictions, our new research finds.

“Being physically active and playing outdoors is essential for adolescent development,” writes the study’s lead author, Dr. Maura Kepper, research assistant professor at the PRC. “Policy and environment change that improves neighborhood conditions may be necessary to reduce parents’ fear and lessen restrictions on outdoor play.”

Adolescents in these disadvantaged neighborhoods were limited to playing in their own yard, the sidewalk in front of their house, or not allowed to play outside at all; they also lacked community resources such as parks and pools that were more common in lower-disadvantage neighborhoods.

A comprehensive summary of this research is available at the ASPPH website and the full-text article is published in Health & Place.