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Behavioural group training of children to find safe routes to cross the road

Thomson, J.A. (1992) Behavioural group training of children to find safe routes to cross the road. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 62. pp. 173-183. ISSN 0007-0998

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Abstract

Young children show poor judgement when asked to select safe places to cross the road and frequently consider dangerous sites to be safe ones. Thus, a sharp bend, the brow of a hill or positions close to parked cars are considered safe places to cross by most children under 9 years of age. This study examined the effectiveness of two practical training programmes in improving the judgements of 5-year-olds. Children were trained in small groups either in the real road environment or using simulations set up on a table-top model. A series of pre-and post-tests allowed the effectiveness of training to be assessed. Significant improvements relative to controls were found in both groups following training. There were no differences between the two training methods. Improvements were robust and no deterioration was observed two months after the programme ended. However, the benefits of group training were less marked than in an earlier study in which children were trained individually. The implications for road safety education are discussed.