Effect of major life events on travel behaviours: a scoping review

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Larouche, Richard
Rodriguez, Ulises C.
Nayakarathna, Ransimala
Scott, David R.
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The transportation sector accounts for about a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Previous research suggests that major life events may be “windows of opportunity” for travel behaviour change. Our scoping review examined the effects of seven events (transitions to secondary school, post-secondary studies, labour market, marriage, parenthood, retirement, and relocation) on travel behaviours. Five databases were searched (MEDLINE, APA PsycINFO, Web of Science, SportDISCUS, and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses) and 80 articles met inclusion criteria. Relocation was the most commonly examined event (with 51studies). Findings illustrate that moving to compact neighbourhoods (with shorter commute distance/traveltime, greater walkability/access to destinations) was associated with shifts towards sustainable travel modes (e.g., walking, cycling, and transit). Relocation might be particularly conducive to implementing scalable sustainable transportation interventions, as all six interventions with appropriate statistical power were effective. Entry into the labour market was generally associated with increased car use and declines in sustainable transportation. Qualitative studies suggested that attitudes towards cycling may become negative during adolescence, while attitudes towards driving improve, highlighting a need for concerted action. Evidence for other events was less consistent. Research in developing countries remain scarce and further intervention research is needed to enhance quality of evidence.
Open access article. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) applies.
Sustainable transport , Transition periods , Life-course approach , Driving , Physical activity , Travel behaviour , Behaviour change
Larouche, R., Rodriguez, U. C., Nayakarathna, R., & Scott, D. R. (2020). Effect of major life events on travel behaviours: A scoping review. Sustainability, 12(24), 10392. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410392