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Table 1 Questionnaire items used to construct parent perceptions

From: Perceived and objective neighborhood support for outside of school physical activity in South African children

Perceptions Scalea Items
Proximity to community facilities 1–5 min, 6–10 min, 11–20 min, 21–30 min, >30 min, and don’t know Parents estimated the length of time it took to walk from home to the nearest sporting venues, recreational facilities and parks by selecting one of six options
Neighborhood safety Four-point scale ranging from strongly disagree = 0 to strongly agree = 3 1. ‘There is a high crime rate’
2. ‘Streets have good lighting at night’
3. ‘I’m afraid of my child being taken or hurt by a stranger on local streets’
4. ‘I’m afraid of my child being taken or hurt by a stranger in my yard, driveway, or common area’
5. ‘I’m afraid of my child being taken or hurt by a stranger in a local park’
6. ‘I’m afraid of my child being taken or hurt by a known “bad” person (adult or child) in my neighborhood’
The one positive question (#2) was reverse coded so that a high score for neighborhood safety indicated a perceived unsafe neighborhood.
Traffic safety Four-point scale ranging from strongly disagree = 0 to strongly agree = 3 1. ‘The speed of traffic on most streets is usually slow (50 kph or less)’
2. ‘Most drivers go faster than the posted speed limits’
3. ‘The traffic makes it difficult or unpleasant for my child to walk’
4. ‘There are crosswalks and robots (traffic lights) on busy streets’
Negatively phrased questions (#2 and 3) were reverse coded so that a high traffic safety score indicated that the neighborhood’s roads were perceived as safe.
Walkability Four-point scale ranging from strongly disagree = 0 to strongly agree = 3 1. ‘There are shops, stores, markets and places to buy things I need within easy walking distance of my home/house’
2. ‘There is a bus, taxi, or train stop within walking distance from my home’
3. ‘There are sidewalks on most streets’
4. ‘There are many different routes for getting from place to place’
5. ‘There are many interesting things to look at while walking in my neighborhood’
6. ‘There are many places to go within easy walking distance from my home’
Social cohesion Section 1:
Five-point scale ranging from strongly disagree = 0 to strongly agree = 4
Section 2:
Four-point scale ranging from not at all = 1 to extremely well = 4 for item 1; seven-point scale from never = 0 to almost every day = 7 for item 2, which were collapsed into a five-point scale to be consistent with the other items
Section 3:
Five-point scale ranging from very unlikely = 0 to very likely = 4
Section 1:
1. ‘People around my neighborhood are willing to help their neighbors’
2. ‘This is a close-knit neighborhood’
3. ‘People in my neighborhood can be trusted’
4. ‘People in my neighborhood generally don’t get along with each other’
5. ‘People in my neighborhood do not share the same values, attitudes or beliefs’.
Negatively phrased questions (#4 and 5) were reverse coded
Section 2:
1. ‘In general, how well do you feel you know your neighbors?’
2. ‘About how often do you talk to or visit your immediate neighbors (people in the 10–20 households that live closest to you)?’
Section 3:
1. ‘If a group of neighborhood children were skipping school and hanging out on a street corner, how likely is it that your neighbors would do something about it?’
2. ‘If some children were spray-painting graffiti on a local building, how likely is it that your neighbors would do something about it?’
3. ‘If a child was showing disrespect to an adult, how likely is it that people in your neighborhood would scold that child?’
4. ‘If there was a fight in front of your house and someone was being beaten or threaten, how likely is it that your neighbors would break it up?’
5. ‘Suppose that because of budget cuts the fire station closest to you home was going to be closed down by the city. How likely is it that neighborhood residents would organize to try to do something to keep the fire station open?’
Family support for physical activity Items used individually, not combined into a scale. Never, 1–2 days, 3–4 days, 5–6 days, every day ‘How often do you or another adult in the household:
1. watch your child participate in physical activity or sports;
2. encourage your child to do sports or physical activity;
3. provide transport to a place where your child can do physical activity or
4. play sports and do a physical activity or play sports with your child’.
  1. aScales were derived from [26, 27, 29, 32]