Active Where? Surveys

Author of Tool: 

Jacqueline Kerr, Ph.D., James Sallis, Ph.D., Dori E. Rosenberg, M.P.H., Grregory Norman, Ph.D., Brian Saelens, Ph.D., & Nefertiti Durant, Ph.D.

Key references: 

Durant, N., Kerr, J., Harris, S.K, Saelens, B.E., Norman, G.J., and Sallis, J.F. (2009). Environmental and safety barriers to youth physical activity in parks and streets: Reliability and validity. Pediatric Exercise Science, 21, 86-99.

Forman, H., Kerr, J., Norman, G., Saelens, B., Durent, N., Harris, S., Sallis, J. (2008). Reliability and Validity of destination-specific barriers to walking and cycling for parents and adolescents. Preventive Medicine, 46 (4), 311-316.

Grow, H.M., Saelens, B.E., Kerr, J., Durant, N.H., Norman, G.J., and Sallis, J.F. (2008). Where are youth active? Roles of proximity, active transport, and built environment. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 40, 2071-2079.

Joe L, Carlson JA, Sallis JF. Active Where? Individual item reliability statistics parent/child survey.

Primary use / Purpose: 

The Active Where? Surveys assess home, neighborhood, park, and school environments related to physical activity and eating. There are separate questionnaires to be completed by parent and child together, parent and adolescent together, and adolescents individually.


The Active Where? Study was designed to develop measures to understand how the physical environment impacts physical activity and eating behaviors related to chronic diseases, such as obesity, among children and youth. This study started with individual interviews with children and parents 'in situ', thus allowing researchers to observe and interact with youth while using neighborhood and park environments. This formative work was designed to generate appropriate items.

A set of quantitative survey measures was developed to assess home, neighborhood, park, and school environments to be completed by parent-child dyads, parent-adolescent dyads, or adolescents. A reliability study was conducted in 3 U.S. cities, which increased the generalizbility of findings, and most of the measures performed well. The study resulted in self-report environmental measures that are relevant to youth of a very wide range of ages and will supplement the adult instruments currently used in national and international research. The Active Where? Study was a collaborative project comprising three locations: San Diego, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and Boston Children's Hospital.


The surveys have been tested for reliability (see Reliability Report)



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