Adolescents’ Active Commutes to School and Family Functioning

Eva Sanz Arazuri

Ana Ponce de León Elizondo

Raúl Fraguela Vale

*Corresponding author: Eva Sanz Arazuri

Original Language

Cite this article

Sanz Arazuri, E., Ponce de León Elizondo, A., & Fraguela Vale, R. (2017). Adolescents’ Active Commutes to School and Family Functioning. Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 128, 36-47.



This study analyses active commutes to school among post-compulsory secondary school students and their possible relationship with internal family functioning bearing in mind two fundamental constructs: cohesion and flexibility between parents and children. A total of 1764 adolescents (ages 15 to 18) filled out an ad-hoc questionnaire and the FACES IV. Significant differences were detected via Cramer’s V-coefficient and a one-factor ANOVA and a contrast analysis were performed for a p < 0.05. Fewer than half of the Spanish adolescents (45.7%) actively commute to their school, and the percentage of males is significantly and slightly higher than females. Likewise, 91.2% of the post-compulsory secondary school students in Spain perceive the internal functioning of their family as healthy: 89.6% indicate good cohesion among the family members, and 88.3% state that they enjoy healthy family flexibility. The students who walk to school perceive less healthy family functioning than those who get to school via any means of motorised transport. This reinforces the need to promote active travel among schoolchildren in general, and especially at these ages, through intervention programmes targeted at students and their families which raise their awareness of the health benefits of active commutes in both the physical and also the psychological and social dimensions.

Keywords: Active Commutes, adolescents, Family Relations, Healthy Behaviours.

ISSN: 1577-4015

Received: February 19, 2016

Accepted: October 5, 2016

Published: April 01, 2017