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

Cerin, Ester, Conway, Terry L., Saelens, Brian E., Frank, Lawrence D. and Sallis, James F. 2009, Cross-validation of the factorial structure of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS) and its abbreviated form (NEWS-A), International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, vol. 6, no. 32, pp. 1-10, doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-6-32.

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Title Cross-validation of the factorial structure of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS) and its abbreviated form (NEWS-A)
Author(s) Cerin, Ester
Conway, Terry L.
Saelens, Brian E.
Frank, Lawrence D.
Sallis, James F.
Journal name International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity
Volume number 6
Issue number 32
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2009
ISSN 1479-5868
Summary 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.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1479-5868-6-32
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, BioMed Central
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30055853

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.