A community program to reward children's use of seat belts

Am J Community Psychol. 1988 Jun;16(3):395-407. doi: 10.1007/BF00919378.


This paper reports on a community-wide effort to increase elementary school children's use of seat belts. Twenty-five schools serving over 9,000 children participated in a program of rewards (stickers, bumper strips, and chances on pizza dinners) administered by parent-teacher organization volunteers. Comprehensive observations were made at three representative schools. Categorization of compliance with safety rules required all passengers to be buckled into safety devices before the children received the rewards. The rewards, on average across schools, increased compliance from baseline of 18.1% to 62.4% during the interventions. Withdrawal of the rewards resulted in a decrease to 49% compliance, but this rate remained above baseline. The involvement of community groups and institutions in this safety program is highlighted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Health Education*
  • Humans
  • Reward
  • Seat Belts*
  • Token Economy*