, Volume 82, Issue 2, pp 355–368 | Cite as

The places parents go: understanding the breadth, scope, and experiences of activity spaces for parents

  • Jennifer Price Wolf
  • Bridget Freisthler
  • Nancy J. Kepple
  • Raul Chavez


Neighborhood environments are related to parenting behaviors, which in turn have a life-long effect on children’s health and well-being. Activity spaces, which measure individual routine patterns of movement, may be helpful in assessing how physical and social environments shape parenting. In this study we use qualitative data and GIS mapping from four California cities to examine parental activity spaces. Parents described a number of factors that shape their activity spaces including caregiving status, the age of their children, and income. Parental activity spaces also varied between times (weekends vs. weekdays) and places (adult-only vs. child-specific places). Knowing how to best capture and study parental activity spaces could identify mechanisms by which environmental factors influence parenting behaviors and child health.


Activity spaces Qualitative research Parenting GIS 



The preparation of this paper was supported by a Grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (P60-AA006282). The content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIAAA or the National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Price Wolf
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bridget Freisthler
    • 3
  • Nancy J. Kepple
    • 4
  • Raul Chavez
    • 5
  1. 1.Division of Social WorkCalifornia State University, SacramentoSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.Prevention Research CenterOaklandUSA
  3. 3.UCLA Department of Social WelfareLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.School of Social WelfareUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA
  5. 5.School of Social WelfareUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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