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Children's experiences of the journey between home and school: A qualitative synthesis using meta-ethnography.

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Morris, Stephanie 
Lawlor, Emma R 
Summerbell, Carolyn 


This paper uses meta-ethnography to synthesise qualitative and ethnographic studies of children's (aged 5-13) experiences of socio-material environments on their school journey. Most of the 21 papers (18 studies) identified from the systematic search were from high-income countries and used self-report qualitative methods. Our synthesis shows children can feel vulnerable, but also negotiate journeys and manage risks, enjoy shared and solitary mobility, and explore their material environments. School journeys offer children a place to learn and develop agency within their socio-material environments. Attending to these wider benefits of school journeys, alongside supporting children to develop active modes attuned to the risks associated with these journeys, could improve the reach and impact of active school travel initiatives.



Active travel, Children, Environment, Health, Systematic review, Transport, Adolescent, Anthropology, Cultural, Child, Child, Preschool, Humans, Qualitative Research, Schools, Self Report

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Health Place

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Elsevier BV
MRC (MC_UU_00006/7)
Department of Health (via National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)) (16/137/34)
Medical Research Council (MR/K02325X/1)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12015/6)
This study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Public Health Research (Grant Reference Number SPHR-PROG-PCBT-CS2). The NIHR School for Public Health Research is a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield; Bristol; Cambridge; Imperial; University College London; The London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM); LiLaC—a collaboration between the Universities of Liverpool and Lancaster; and Fuse - The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health a collaboration between Newcastle, Durham, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside Universities. The funders had no role in study design, data analysis and interpretation, or preparation of the manuscript. LF is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Global Health Research Group and Network on Diet and Activity (grant reference 16/137/34). JP is funded through the Medical Research Council [Unit Programme number MC_UU_12015/6 & MC_UU_00006/7]. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.