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Replication of the Neighborhood Active Living Potential Measure in Saskatoon, Canada

  • Daniel L. Fuller
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Daniel L. Fuller, MSc, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Université de Montréal, 1430 Boulevard du Mont-Royal, Montréal PQ, Canada H2V 4P3
    Affiliations
    Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Central Hospital Research Center, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Nazeem Muhajarine
    Affiliations
    Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
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  • Smart Cities, Healthy Kids Research Team

      Background

      Few neighborhood observational measures have been replicated by separate research teams in different cities.

      Purpose

      This study replicates the neighborhood active living potential observation measure in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

      Methods

      Observers (n=5) participated in a 3-day neighborhood active living potential training session. Observers rated 60 neighborhoods in Saskatoon during the summer of 2009 by following a predetermined walking route constructed by joining ten randomly selected street segments for each neighborhood. Pairs of observers independently rated neighborhoods using an 18-item observation grid. Items represented three a priori–defined domains of active living potential: activity friendliness (six items); safety (four items); and density of destinations (eight items). Data analysis was conducted in autumn 2009.

      Results

      Application of ecometric multilevel modeling analyses showed that once inter-item and inter-observer variability were statistically controlled, one third of the variability in observations was among neighborhoods. Reliability estimates for observers were 0.84 for items measuring activity friendliness, 0.82 for safety, and 0.91 for density of destinations. Convergent validity showed that neighborhood income was associated negatively with density of destinations, positively with safety, and not associated with activity friendliness. Percentage of people in the neighborhood walking to work was positively associated with density of destinations and not associated with safety or activity friendliness.

      Conclusions

      Results replicate findings from Montreal, Canada, that the three dimensions of the neighborhood active living potential measure have good reliability and convergent validity. Neighborhood active living potential appears to be a stable measure capturing three essential elements of neighborhoods.
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