Age and gender differences in school-age children's appraisals of injury risk

J Pediatr Psychol. 1998 Aug;23(4):229-38. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/23.4.229.


Objective: To examine age and gender differences in children's perception of injury risk and to evaluate cognitive factors that relate to their appraisal of risk.

Methods: The participants were 120 children (6 to 10 years of age), who used a series of photographs, which depicted play activities that varied from no to high risk, to appraise injury risk.

Results: Children were able to distinguish varying degrees of injury risk. Boys rated risk as lower than girls, and 6-year-old children identified fewer risk factors and did so more slowly than 10-year-old children. For girls, perceived vulnerability to injury was the best predictor of injury risk ratings, whereas for boys it was judged severity of potential injury.

Conclusions: Children's appraisal of risk and age and gender differences in related factors highlight important components for injury prevention programs.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Judgment*
  • Male
  • Ontario
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sex Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*