Urban factors and mental health symptoms in children of the Tokyo Early Adolescence Survey; impact of proximity to railway stations


Map showing stations (triangles) in the study area. Shading indicates the straight-line distance to the nearest station.


The study tested the hypothesis that proximity of home to railway stations is a positive predictor of mental health at age 10 years. Using the Tokyo Early Adolescence Survey, we examined relationships between distance from home to the nearest railway station and SDQ (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) scores for hyperactivity/inattention, prosocial behaviour and emotional symptoms. Greater distance to the nearest railway station was associated with higher SDQ-derived hyperactivity/inattention scores in the unadjusted analysis across all 4052 analyzable children (p = 0.031), and in the fully adjusted analysis in boys (β = 0.186, 95% C.I. 0.001 to 0.372, p = 0.049) but not in girls (β = 0.020, 95% C.I. -0.146 to 0.185, p = 0.817). There were no associations with other SDQ-based outcomes. If replicated, these findings suggest that access to high-quality transit may be associated with improved hyperactivity/inattention outcomes in children living in urban environments.

S. J. C. Davies, B. Bolea-Alamanac, K. Endo, Y. Yamamoto, S. Yamasaki, A. Malins, J. Evans, S. Sullivan, S. Ando, A. Nishida & K. Kasai
Journal of Transport and Health 28, 101564 (2023)

DOI: 10.1016/j.jth.2022.101564
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