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Attitudes, social norms and perceived behavioural control in adolescent pedestrian decision-making

Tolmie, Andrew and Thomson, J. (2003) Attitudes, social norms and perceived behavioural control in adolescent pedestrian decision-making. In: Behavioural research in road safety: thirteenth seminar proceedings. Behavioural research in road safety (13). Department for Transport, London, UK, pp. 55-64. ISBN 1904763006

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While it has been argued that pedestrian vulnerability in early and middle childhood primarily reflects the child's limited skills and traffic experience (Rothengatter, 1981; Thomson, 1991), it may be that attitudinal and other social psychological factors play a significantly greater role in adolescence. However, this should not be taken to imply that the child's pedestrian skills are now fully developed and require no further enhancement. In fact, children are now required to deploy their skills in a more complex and demanding traffic environment, which can be expected to push their existing skill levels to the limit. Moreover, much reduced accompaniment and supervision places them in the position of having to take full responsibility for these more difficult crossing decisions most of the time. This means that much greater emphasis is also placed on the child's meta-cognitive ability to monitor and assess the effectiveness of his or her own judgements, and to introduce modifications where this is desirable. Taken together, these requirements would tend to rapidly expose any existing gaps or inadequacies in the child's skills portfolio, making them more vulnerable as a result.