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Parental awareness of schoolbag carriage: A comparative study of Irish and United States parents.

Work; 58(2): 85-93, 2017.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28922183

BACKGROUND:

Given the global nature of schoolbag carriage, there has been extensive research on schoolbag weight and use with resultant guidance on many aspects of carrying a schoolbag. However, there is limited evidence of knowledge translation or parents' awareness of schoolbag carriage.

OBJECTIVE:

This study investigated parental awareness of factors related to schoolbag carriage.

METHOD:

A cross-sectional survey using an anonymous 30-item questionnaire and purposive sampling was used. Questionnaires were distributed to parents of primary school children through the schools. Descriptive statistics of frequencies and percentages were used and associations were tested using Chi-square analysis in SPSS v23.

RESULTS:

A total of 700 parents in Ireland (Ire) and the United States (US) participated in the study (n = 444 [Ire] and n = 256 [US]). Generally, parents had satisfactory awareness of appropriate schoolbag type and carriage. The majority of children owned a backpack (89.9% [Ire] vs. 93.7% [US]), although fewer parents considered this to be the most suitable bag for their child (69.6% [Ire] vs. 88.2% [US]). More Irish parents (29.2%) favoured a wheeled schoolbag compared to US parents (6.2%) (p < 0.001). The majority (70.8% [Ire] vs. 55.7% [US]) wanted more information. The preferred platforms for receiving information were a handout (78.1% [Ire] vs. 71.6% [US]) and on-line (44.6% [Ire] vs. 53.9% [US]).

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite gaps identified, parents had good awareness of factors relating to schoolbag carriage, but this study shows that they would like more information. The preferred platform for knowledge translation was a handout. Parents are the best advocates for safety promotion and represent the group most likely to improve schoolbag carriage among children.