Psychosocial and environmental correlates of active and passive transport behaviors in college educated and non-college educated working young adults
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0174263


This study aimed to examine potential differences in walking, cycling, public transport and passive transport (car/moped/motorcycle) to work and to other destinations between college and non-college educated working young adults. Secondly, we aimed to investigate which psychosocial and environmental factors are associated with the four transport modes and whether these associations differ between college and non-college educated working young adults.


In this cross-sectional study, 224 working young adults completed an online questionnaire assessing socio-demographic variables (8 items), psychosocial variables (6 items), environmental variables (10 items) and transport mode (4 types) and duration to work/other destinations. Zero-inflated negative binomial regression models were performed in R.


A trend (p<0.10) indicated that more college educated compared to non-college educated young adults participated in cycling and public transport. However, another trend indicated that cycle time and public transport trips were longer and passive transport trips were shorter in non-college compared to college educated working young adults. In all working young adults, high self-efficacy towards active transport, and high perceived benefits and low perceived barriers towards active and public transport were related to more active and public transport. High social support/norm/modeling towards active, public and passive transport was related to more active, public and passive transport. High neighborhood walkability was related to more walking and less passive transport. Only in non-college educated working young adults, feeling safe from traffic and crime in their neighborhood was related to more active and public transport and less passive transport.


Educational levels should be taken into account when promoting healthy transport behaviors in working young adults. Among non-college educated working young adults, focus should be on increasing active and public transport participation and on increasing neighborhood safety to increase active and public transport use. Among college educated working young adults, more minutes of active transport should be encouraged.