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  • br Discussion Our second finding is that more than half


    Discussion Our second finding is that more than half (11 out of 18) of the environmental variable/AC associations examined were statistically different between rural and urban tracts. Four of these coefficients had the same direction but varied in effect size, but seven of these coefficients had effects in opposite directions. For example, tract intersection density, as an objective measure of street connectivity, is positively associated with AC in the majority of the current literature (Berrigan, Pickle, & Dill, 2010; Panter & Jones, 2010). While our urban results are consistent with this literature, the association is negative but statistically insignificant (p=0.128) for rural tracts. This null relationship in rural tracts may be because, compared to urban settings, rural towns tend to be small with limited number of streets, and as such, whether these streets are well connected is not important for walking. Tract Purmorphamine density is another example. While higher population density is positively associated with neighborhood walkability and walking behavior in the literature (Ewing, Handy, Brownson, Clemente, & Winston, 2006; Frank et al., 2006), this relationship only holds for urban tracts. For rural tracts, population density is negatively associated with both WTW and PTTW, although it is not clear what the mechanism is behind such a negative association. The bottom line is, because the majority of Americans live in urban areas, research findings including both rural and urban areas are likely dominated by urban relationships. If these associations are utilized to provide information for policies and strategies to promote AC participation, attention needs to be given to rural-urban differences in order to prevent unintended negative consequences of “one-size fits all” type of approaches.
    Human subjects
    Conflict of interest
    Acknowledgements This research was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01CA140319-01A1. The fındings and conclusions in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the funding agency. The authors thank Drs. Xingyou Zhang and Fahui Wang for their data support.
    Introduction There are various definitions of social capital, often themed around people receiving some common benefit from interacting with each other, and some notion of collective societal benefit derived from these interactions. Putnam’s (2001) definition of social capital is one of the most widely used, defining it as the “connections among individuals, social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them” (p. 19). Most simply, social capital has been described as the “glue” that holds society together (Lang & Hornburg, 1998) or the raw material of civil society that is created from everyday interactions between people (Onyx & Bullen, 1997). Social capital can stem from many sources; for example it is being created and applied when people (individually or as groups and organisations) lend a helping hand, get involved in community issues, interact with local residents, volunteer, share useful contacts and skills, or work towards a common goal (Halpern, 2005). Whilst the social interactions associated with pets have been explored through different research methodologies and disciplinary lenses, the relationship between pet ownership and social capital has been far less considered. Despite wide citation and media interest in our earlier study about pets and social capital published (Wood, Giles-Corti, & Bulsara, 2005), the research remains one of the few empirical studies of its kind. In the 2005 study, completed via a community survey of 339 residents in Perth, we found that pet owners scored significantly higher compared with non-pet owners on an overall social capital scale whilst controlling for demographics. Moreover, the results indicated that social capital was higher among all pet owners, and was limited to those who owned dogs (often argued to be the pet type most likely to precipitate community engagement) (Wood et al., 2005).