Introduction: Cycling accidents in Australia, especially those resulting in head injuries, are a substantive cause of death and disability; but despite legislation and evidence that helmets reduce the risk of head injury, few adolescents wear them.
Method: This study employed a revised version of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB; [Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179-211]) to investigate the determinants of helmet use among a sample of adolescents. Participants in the initial data collection were 294 high school students in Year 8 and Year 11, with 266 completing a follow-up questionnaire measuring behavior over the previous two weeks.
Results: Social norms, perceptions of control, and past behavior significantly predicted intentions to use helmets and perceptions of control and past behavior predicted actual helmet use.
Conclusions: Strengthening the routine of helmet use and building young people's confidence that they can overcome any perceived barriers to helmet use will improve adherence to helmet wearing behavior.