The influence of parental perceptions on the use of booster seats: An application of the theory of planned behavior

Kristi Ferraro, Fordham University

Abstract

One of the primary goals of applied developmental psychology is to promote optimal developmental outcomes in children. Unintentional injury, specifically those sustained in motor vehicle crashes, is the primary health threat to optimal developmental outcomes children under the age of 14 years. Children between the ages of four and eight years are the most susceptible to injury because they are the least likely to be restrained appropriately. Children in this age range are required by law to use the vehicle seat belt when traveling in an automobile. However, vehicle seat belts do not fit these children appropriately and therefore, they require a booster seat to travel safely. ^ The current study examined the factors associated with booster seat use in a sample of parents from a suburban community (N = 151) using the Theory of Planned Behavior as a model. It was expected that parental attitudes, norms, and perceived control would predict intention to use and self-reported use of booster seats. In addition, parental dominance and knowledge of child passenger safety were also expected to predict the self-reported use of booster seats. ^ Results from the current survey research demonstrated that intention to use booster seats significantly predicted self-reported use of booster seats, and attitudes, but not subjective norm or perceived control, predicted the intention to use booster seats. Furthermore, neither dominant parenting style nor parental knowledge of child passenger safety predicted the use of booster seats. ^ The present study was an initial attempt to add to a limited body of research in the area of child passenger safety, particularly in the area of booster seat use for children between the ages of four and eight years. Results from the present study can be used to create interventions targeted at parents in order to increase booster seat use in the specified age group. Further research is needed in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the multiple factors associated with the use of booster seats and the relationship between these factors in order to potentially reduce the numbers of severe injuries and death in this vulnerable age group. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Behavioral|Health Sciences, Public Health|Psychology, Developmental

Recommended Citation

Kristi Ferraro, "The influence of parental perceptions on the use of booster seats: An application of the theory of planned behavior" (January 1, 2004). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3125011.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3125011

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