Generational differences in attitudes towards car, car ownership and car use in Beijing

Meng Zhou, Donggen Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


In light of the recent trends in young people's travel behavior and the importance of attitudes in influencing behavioral decisions, this study examines the generational differences in attitudes towards private cars and their interactions with car ownership and car use. Data are derived from a travel diary sample survey conducted in 2016 in Beijing, China, which include information about travel attitudes, car ownership, and car use. A multiple-group modeling framework capable of performing group comparison by allowing parameters to differ across different groups is applied to analyze the data. We find significant differences among different generations in terms of attitudes towards cars and their influences on car ownership, holding a driver's license, and trips by cars. Young adults, in particular, show less favorable attitudes towards private cars and less prominent attitude-behavior associations than older groups do. They are also found to be less pragmatic about car use. Findings of this study shed new lights on the psychological factors on car-related choices and the significant differences between different generations, which are relevant for policies targeting on reducing car dependency and promoting a more sustainable lifestyle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-278
Number of pages18
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Environmental Science(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Beijing
  • Generational differences
  • Measurement invariance
  • Multiple-group analysis
  • Young people


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