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The effectiveness of parents in promoting the development of road crossing skills in young children

Thomson, J. (1998) The effectiveness of parents in promoting the development of road crossing skills in young children. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 68 (4). pp. 475-491. ISSN 0007-0998

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Young children show poor judgment when asked to select a safe place to cross the road, frequently considering dangerous sites to be safe. Correspondingly, child pedestrian accidents are over-represented at such locations. Increasing the child's ability to recognise such dangers is a central challenge for road safety education. Practical training methods have proved effective in improving such judgments but are labour-intensive, time-consuming and therefore difficult to implement on a realistic scale. The study examined the possibility that volunteers from the local community might be capable of using such methods to promote children's pedestrian competence. Sixty children from the Primary 1 (Reception) classes of three Glasgow schools took part. Volunteers were ordinary parents from the same areas. None had 'formal' experience of working with children other than through being parents. Method. Volunteers received experience of training children at courses organised in each school. Children learned in small groups, receiving two sessions of roadside training followed by four on a table-top model. Pre- and post-tests allowed the effectiveness of training to be assessed. Significant improvements relative to controls were found in all children following training. Improvements proved robust and no deterioration was observed two months after the programme ended. Comparison with a previous study in which training was undertaken by highly qualified staff showed that the volunteers were as effective as 'expert' trainers. Parent volunteers can significantly increase the pedestrian competence of children as young as five years. They constitute a most valuable 'resource' in road safety education. The opportunities afforded by involving the local community in educational interventions should be further explored.

Item type: Article
ID code: 18667
Keywords: accident prevention, traffic accident, educational schedule, parent child relation, social interaction, public health, scotland, road safety, Transportation and Communications, Psychology, Child Health. Child health services, Education, Developmental and Educational Psychology
Subjects: Social Sciences > Transportation and Communications
Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
Medicine > Pediatrics > Child Health. Child health services
Department: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) > School of Psychological Science and Health > Psychology
Depositing user: Miss Lisa McWhinnie
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2010 08:14
Last modified: 26 Mar 2015 21:34

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