Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Cross-validation of the factorial structure of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS) and its abbreviated form (NEWS-A)

Authors
Journal
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
1479-5868
Publisher
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Volume
6
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/1479-5868-6-32
Keywords
  • Research
Disciplines
  • Design
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences

Abstract

Background The Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS) and its abbreviated form (NEWS-A) assess perceived environmental attributes believed to influence physical activity. A multilevel confirmatory factor analysis (MCFA) conducted on a sample from Seattle, WA showed that, at the respondent level, the factor-analyzable items of the NEWS and NEWS-A measured 11 and 10 constructs of perceived neighborhood environment, respectively. At the census blockgroup (used by the US Census Bureau as a subunit of census tracts) level, the MCFA yielded five factors for both NEWS and NEWS-A. The aim of this study was to cross-validate the individual- and blockgroup-level measurement models of the NEWS and NEWS-A in a geographical location and population different from those used in the original validation study. Methods A sample of 912 adults was recruited from 16 selected neighborhoods (116 census blockgroups) in the Baltimore, MD region. Neighborhoods were stratified according to their socio-economic status and transport-related walkability level measured using Geographic Information Systems. Participants self-completed the NEWS. MCFA was used to cross-validate the individual- and blockgroup-level measurement models of the NEWS and NEWS-A. Results The data provided sufficient support for the factorial validity of the original individual-level measurement models, which consisted of 11 (NEWS) and 10 (NEWS-A) correlated factors. The original blockgroup-level measurement model of the NEWS and NEWS-A showed poor fit to the data and required substantial modifications. These included the combining of aspects of building aesthetics with safety from crime into one factor; the separation of natural aesthetics and building aesthetics into two factors; and for the NEWS-A, the separation of presence of sidewalks/walking routes from other infrastructure for walking. Conclusion This study provided support for the generalizability of the individual-level measurement models of the NEWS and NEWS-A to different urban geographical locations in the USA. It is recommended that the NEWS and NEWS-A be scored according to their individual-level measurement models, which are relatively stable and correspond to constructs commonly used in the urban planning and transportation fields. However, prior to using these instruments in international and multi-cultural studies, further validation work across diverse non-English speaking countries and populations is needed.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.