Evaluating a model linking assessed parent factors to four domains of youth risky driving

Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death in youth aged 15–19. Research has consistently shown that driver education programs do not result in safer youth driving. Indeed, the biggest predictor of collisions involving youth is parental history of collisions. The current study examined how parental modeling of and teaching about risky driving behaviors related to youth practices within four domains of risky driving (aggressive, substance use, distracted, moving violations), and evaluated whether the Prototype-Willingness Model explains links from parent to teen driving practices. Participants (N = 432) were undergraduate students (mean age 18 years, age range 17–22 years) who had obtained their G2 driver's license within the past year; the G2 driver's license allows youth to drive alone on all municipal roads, with some restrictions on their blood alcohol level and the number of passengers they can carry. Results revealed that parental modeling was more predictive than parental teaching for all domains of risky driving examined. Youth whose parents modeled risky driving behaviors were found to be more likely to have engaged in those risky driving behaviors in the past, as well as to be more willing to engage in the behaviors in the future. The Prototype-Willingness Model was not a good fit to explain these relations. Findings from this study highlight the role parents play in the development of youth risky driving practices.


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  • Accession Number: 01529008
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 3 2014 10:39AM