Actual and perceived social norms of children's road crossing behavior

Tova Rosenbloom, Ofri Hadari-Carmi, Yael Sapir-Lavid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study compared the actual and perceived social norms regarding road crossing behaviors, and aimed at uncovering a misperception of group norms. The basic notion underlying the study was that if children perceived the behaviors and attitudes of their friends regarding road crossing as more negative than they actually are, this might lead the children to adopt riskier behavior when crossing the road. The participants were comprised of 123 elementary school children (ages from 6 to 13; 78 boys - 65% and 42 girls - 35%) from Beitar-Ilit, a religious city in Israel. A questionnaire especially constructed for the study was administered to the participants. A t-test yielded a significant difference between the child's own attitudes score and the perceived peers' attitudes score. On average, children perceive their friends' attitudes with regard to road crossing behaviors as being more negative compared to their own attitudes. A second t-test yielded a significant difference between the child's own behavior score and the perceived peers' behavior score. Children perceived the road crossing behavior of their friends as riskier relative to their own crossing behavior. A regression test revealed that the variables, perceived peers' attitudes and perceived peers' behaviors, contributed significantly to the explained variance: the more risky the perceived peers' attitudes and behaviors with regard to road crossing, the more risky the child's own behavior when crossing the road. It is hoped that an interventional educational program based on positive norms in the social group will encourage children to exhibit safe behavior in the roads.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-180
Number of pages6
JournalSafety Science
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was prepared for Rubenu and funded by the Ministry of Health, Israel.

Keywords

  • Actual and perceived social norms
  • Children
  • Group norms
  • Road crossing behaviors

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