Attitude toward physical activity as a determinant of bus use intention: A case study in Asuke, Japan

Yen Tran, Toshiyuki Yamamoto, Hitomi Sato, Tomio Miwa, Takayuki Morikawa
2020 IATSS Research  
This study examines the effect of people's attitudes toward physical activity on their bus use intention in rural areas in Japan. We utilized the theory of planned behavior and designated three variables-attitude toward bus use, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control-as mediators for the hypothesized effect. Analysis results showed that attitude toward physical activity had a significant effect on bus use intention. For transport policy, this implies that improving attitudes toward
more » ... hysical activity can increase bus use and reduce physical inactivity, partly caused by car dependence. Results from a multiple-group analysis, for the hypothesized model, revealed that this finding is particularly valid for young people, car drivers, and people living within five minutes of the nearest bus stop. Finally, the effect of attitude toward physical activity on bus use intention is higher with the presence of mediators; these mediators help to increase the model's predictability for the variance of bus use intention from 8.6% to 64.4%. Keywords Attitude toward physical activity; extended theory of planned behavior (TPB); bus use intention. J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f Journal Pre-proof 1 Note that public transport is rare in rural areas in developing countries [1]. 2 In remote and small -scale areas in Japan, the LBS is preferred over the traditional public transport system due to its low investment cost. LBS uses small vehicles and often serves a limited number of routes infrequently. This kind of bus is sometimes called a community bus. J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f Journal Pre-proof the results, discussion, and conclusions are presented in Sections 4, 5, and 6, respectively. Theoretical Basis Generally, attitudes can be defined as an individual's tendency to evaluate an entity with a certain level of favor/disfavor [17] . Depending on the types of entities, attitudes can be specific (i.e. when the entities are specific behaviors, such as traveling by bus or car) or general (i .e. when the entities are general objects, such as physical activity). To facilitate the hypothesized causal relation between APA and BUI, we follow Ajzen's suggestion [18] that exogenous factors, unrelated to specific behaviors-such as personalities or situational factors-can only affect J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f Journal Pre-proof J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f Journal Pre-proof in our sample, accounts for 53.25% of the total sample and this is similar to the occupation distribution of the Asuke population. The car is the most common mode of the sample. The total portion of people who drive themselves or who are driven by a relative was approximately 84.38%. The information collected in the sample reflects the typical situation of the low effectiveness of the bus system in Asuke. The means of respondents' scores in psychological indicators is given in Table 2 . Generally, respondents in the sample had fairly high APA but not strong BUI. The t-tests of unequal sizes and unequal variances, comparing the means of APA and BUI of several sociodemographic groups, revealed some interesting facts. At the 95% level of confidence, we found no difference in the means of APA of male and female groups. However, the mean of APA of the elderly male group (≥ 70 years old) was significantly larger than that of the young male group (< 70 years old)-the difference was 3.27%. This implies that for this male group, an increase in APA was associated with an increase in their ages. The mean of BUI of the female group (3.14) was significantly larger than that of the male group (3.02), and this fact is intuitive as , generally, females have lower access to cars than males have. In both the male and female groups, the means of BUI of elderly respondents (3.38 and 3.47) were significantly larger than those of younger respondents (2.87 and 2.99). In other words, an increase in the respondents' ages was associated with an increase in their BUI. Finally, the mean of BUI of the female non-driver group (3.34) was significantly larger than that of the female self-driver group (3.07). The Measurement Model An EFA was conducted using the R system for statistical computing [29] on groups of indicators of BUI, SN, and APA using the first half of the total sample (N = 802). In every case, only one factor emerged. The results of EFA with principle component analysis (PCA) are presented in Table 2, in which the internal consistencies of factors were assessed by Cronbach's alpha test (see [28] for the alpha formulation). J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f Journal Pre-proof J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f Journal Pre-proof J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f Journal Pre-proof J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f Journal Pre-proof J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f Journal Pre-proof Highlights:  Attitude toward physical activity had a positive effect on bus use intention  The effect was more significant for certain groups, such as young people and car drivers  Reducing distances to bus stops can help to increase bus use intentions  General attitudes should indirectly influence behavioural intentions through mediators J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f Journal Pre-proof
doi:10.1016/j.iatssr.2020.03.002 fatcat:6gcdyztux5czda7jlg2tvktr5y