Middle school students and bicycle helmet use: knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors

J Sch Health. 1998 Oct;68(8):325-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.1998.tb00594.x.


Previous research has shown that bicycle helmet use among older children and adolescents continues to be low. This study determined middle school students' knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors related to bicycle helmet use. Six middle schools in Hillsborough County, Fla., served as the research settings. A pretested survey instrument was administered to students. Overall, 3,333 sixth and seventh graders responded. Results showed that most children owned a bicycle, 38.1% owned a helmet, but only 15.8% wore a helmet the last time they rode a bike. Many students (49.7%) did not know or did not believe there was a bicycle helmet law in Florida. Predictors of helmet use were intention to use a helmet the next time one rides a bike, having a helmet, siblings' use of helmets, and friends' use of helmets.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bicycling / injuries*
  • Bicycling / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Child
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Head Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Students / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires