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Drawing from the framework of social determinants of health, the objective of this study is to investigate the cross-sectional association between transportation-related factors and self-perceived physical health among adults in the U.S.

Data for this study were derived from the 2017 National Household Travel Survey. An analytic sample of 71,235 respondents aged 18 and 64 years was analyzed using binary logistic regression. Of the 71,235 respondents examined, 8.9% perceived their physical health to be poor. About 36% of the respondents had fewer vehicles per individuals in the household.

Controlling for the effects of other factors, respondents who had fewer vehicles per individuals in the household were 1.27 times more likely to report poor self-perceived physical health when compared to their counterparts with more vehicles per individuals in the household (AOR=1.27, 95% CI=1.17-1.39). Having higher education, higher income, and homeownership were inversely associated with poor self-perceived physical health.

The findings of this study suggest that as the gap between the number of household members and the number of vehicles present increases, respondents' self-perceived physical health deteriorates due to the uncertainty in having access to transportation when the need arises. Social workers, engineers, and policymakers should begin working on viable solutions to reduce or eliminate transportation barriers and address disparities created by lack of access to reliable transportation.


Dr. Philip Baiden is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington. He received his Ph.D. in Social Work from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Dr. Baiden’s areas of research interests include adverse childhood experiences, social determinants of health, vulnerable populations, and mental health outcomes. Dr. Baiden has been funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) where he was the Principal Investigator on a project to develop and test transportation barriers scale and its impact on mental health among at-risk/homeless youth and emerging adults in North Texas. Dr. Baiden has authored and co-authored several peer-reviewed publications appearing in high-ranking academic journals and has presented his work at several national and international academic conferences.

Dr. Godfred Boateng is an Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Arlington. Prior to joining UTA, Dr. Boateng worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (2018-2019), Northwestern University (2016-2018), and Cornell University (2016). He received his Ph.D. in Sociology in 2016 from Western University, Canada. Dr. Boateng is an expert in the design and application of culturally relevant scalable methodologies in understanding the multi-dimensional factors and processes that shape health and health equity across spatial scales (household, community, institutional, national) and how these factors can be addressed in a sustained manner.


Transportation | Urban Studies | Urban Studies and Planning

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Webinar: The Impact of Transportation-Related Barriers on Self-Perceived Physical Health among Adults in the US