Outdoor Air Quality Awareness, Perceptions, and Behaviors Among U.S. Children Aged 12–17 Years, 2015–2018
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Outdoor Air Quality Awareness, Perceptions, and Behaviors Among U.S. Children Aged 12–17 Years, 2015–2018

  • Published Date:

    September 09 2020

  • Source:
    J Adolesc Health. 68(5):882-887
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  • Alternative Title:
    J Adolesc Health
  • Description:
    Purpose: This study aimed to assess U.S. adolescents’ perceptions and knowledge about air quality and their behaviors aimed to reduce air pollution exposure and whether they vary by demographic characteristics. Methods: We analyzed data from the Porter Novelli Public Services YouthStyles survey, a nationally representative survey of U.S. adolescents aged 12–17 years. In survey years 2015–2018, a total of 3,547 adolescents self-reported awareness, perceptions, and behaviors related to air pollution. We calculated weighted percentages of respondents reporting each aspect of air quality awareness, perception, and behaviors overall and by categories of age, gender, parental education, metropolitan status, region, and survey year. Results: Overall, an estimated 81% of U.S. adolescents thought outdoor air pollution could impact health, 52% thought there were things they could do to limit their or their family’s exposure, 19% were aware of air quality alerts, 46% of those who thought or were informed air quality was bad did something differently, and 19% always or usually avoided busy roads to reduce air pollution exposure; differences were reported by some demographic variables. Conclusions: Among U.S. adolescents, awareness that air pollution could impact health was relatively high. However, gaps were found in the awareness of the potential impacts and other aspects of awareness and perceptions related to air pollution and the engagement in behaviors to reduce exposure, some of which varied by demographic characteristics. These results can be used to inform interventions that increase awareness and behaviors to reduce air pollution exposures among U.S. adolescents.
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