Exploring travel behavior of elderly women in rural and small urban north dakota an ecological modeling approach

Jill A. Hough, Xinyu Cao, Susan L. Handy

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    Many studies focus on the mobility patterns of elderly people. However, few studies have explored the mobility of elderly women in rural and small urban areas. Compared with their peers in large urban areas, these women tend to face greater challenges because of limited services and mobility options. Using data from 1,021 respondents to a survey conducted in North Dakota, this study examines the determinants of the travel behavior of elderly women. In particular, a multilevel conceptual ecological model was applied to identify how individual-level social environment and physical environment factors influence their travel patterns. Ordered probit models were estimated for the frequencies of nine types of trips. It was found that individual factors (e.g., self-efficacy and physical limitations), social environment factors (e.g., clubs and family), and physical environment factors (e.g., rural versus small urban areas) significantly affect the mobility of elderly women in North Dakota. The implications of these results for policies that aim to enhance the mobility of elderly women in rural and small urban locations are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)125-131
    Number of pages7
    JournalTransportation Research Record
    Issue number2082
    StatePublished - 2008

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