Predicting adolescents' pedestrian behaviour

Elliott, M.A. (2004) Predicting adolescents' pedestrian behaviour. In: 3rd International Conference on Traffic and Transport Psychology, 2004-09-05 - 2004-09-09. (Unpublished)

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This paper summarises a study in which the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) was used as a theoretical framework to study adolescents' pedestrian behaviour and to inform the development of remedial measures that aim to improve adolescents' road safety. The TPB was applied to three specific examples of pedestrian behaviour: crossing between parked cars, using nearby crossings and challenging traffic (a behaviour that involved making car drivers slow down when crossing a road). One thousand, eight hundred and ninety one adolescents between the ages of 11 and 16 years completed questionnaires designed to measure demographic and exposure variables, TPB variables (attitudes, subjective norms, perceived control and behavioural intentions) and reported behaviour. The results provided strong support for the TPB's application to each of the three pedestrian behaviours that were studied. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that, for each behaviour, the TPB variables led to large and statistically significant increments to explained variance in intentions and reported behaviour, over and above that accounted for by the demographic and exposure variables. In each case, attitude, subjective norm and perceived control were strongly and positively associated with intentions, and intentions were strongly and positively associated with reported behaviour. TPB variables also mediated most of the effects of demographic and exposure variables on behaviour. Specific beliefs underpinning adolescents' attitudes (and subjective norms and perceived control) were identified in the study. This provided detailed information about the factors underlying adolescents' motivation to perform each of the behaviours. Effectively targeting these beliefs in interventions (e.g. publicity and education) might lead to corresponding and desirable changes in adolescents' attitudes, intentions and ultimately their pedestrian behaviour.