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Understanding change and continuity in walking and cycling over the life course: A first look at gender and cohort differences

Jones, Heather; Chatterjee, Kiron; Gray, Selena


Heather Jones


Joachim Scheiner

Christian Holz-Rau


Research of walking and cycling is dominated by approaches oriented to explanations of behavioural outcomes as a function of contemporaneous circumstances. The lack of a long term temporal perspective precludes understanding of behaviour as an outcome of past behaviour and experiences and impedes our ability to support walking and cycling as life-long practices. This chapter presents a study that was conducted at the nexus of health and travel behaviour research to gain a life course perspective of walking and cycling. Individual’s retrospective reasoning of change and continuity in their behaviour through life events and transitions were captured using biographical interviews. Biographies of older and younger adults indicated that behaviour developments were associated with changes in location, mobility resources, roles and health status and highlighted that the potential for adaptive, restorative and diminishing changes extended into later life. Some distinctions were apparent between the gender and cohort groups in the timing and occurrence of behaviour change and continuity. For instance some older women appeared to be better positioned by earlier life experiences to resume active travel in later life. Biographical insights suggest interventions be tailored by consideration of target groups ability and readiness to make restorative change.


Jones, H., Chatterjee, K., & Gray, S. (2015). Understanding change and continuity in walking and cycling over the life course: A first look at gender and cohort differences. In J. Scheiner, & C. Holz-Rau (Eds.), Mobility Biographies and Mobility Socialisation (115-132). Springer.

Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Deposit Date Sep 29, 2015
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 115-132
Series Title Studies on Mobility and Transport Research
Book Title Mobility Biographies and Mobility Socialisation
ISBN 9783658075453
Keywords walking, cycling, life course, gender, baby boomer
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