The influences of demographics and individual differences on children's selection of risky pedestrian routes

J Pediatr Psychol. 2007 Apr;32(3):343-53. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsl009. Epub 2006 Jun 25.


Objective: Thousands of American children under the age of 10 are injured annually as pedestrians. Despite the scope of this public health problem, knowledge about behavioral factors involved in the etiology of child pedestrian injury remains sparse. The present study considered the roles of age, gender, ethnicity, family income, and inhibitory control on children's selection of safe pedestrian routes.

Methods: Children's selections of risky pedestrian routes were examined in two laboratory analogue tasks. Multiple behavioral and self-report methods were used to measure temperamental inhibitory control.

Results: Children from lower-income families, children of ethnic minority background, younger children, and those with less temperamental control selected riskier pedestrian routes.

Conclusions: Prevention efforts might be tailored to focus on children at higher risk for pedestrian injury, such as younger, under-controlled children.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Choice Behavior
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological
  • Male
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Safety
  • Walking*
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*