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The Effects of Direct and Indirect Communication on Risky Teenage Driving Behavior
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The Effects of Direct and Indirect Communication on Risky Teenage Driving Behavior


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Presentation Includes: …

Presentation Includes:

Teen driving statistics
Background literature review
Designed lab experiment and field study
Proposed effective communication method

Presented fall 2013 for a graduate Communication Research Methods course.

Published in: Marketing
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  • 1. The Effects of Direct and Indirect Communication on Risky Teenage Driving Behavior
  • 2. The Problem  In the United States, car accidents are the main cause of fatality among young adults ages fifteen to twenty years old (Compton & Ellison-Potter, 2008)  The largest at risk group for distracted driving are individuals under the age of twenty.  new drivers (ages 16-17) are more frequently involved in the behavior of texting and driving  they also have a harder time handling distractions (Lee, 2007).  In 2009, over one third of teenagers (ages16-17) who regularly text, admit to texting and driving simultaneously (Pew Internet Survey, 2009)
  • 3. Research Question: How can we get new drivers to stop texting and driving?
  • 4. The Purpose of This Study  Investigate the relationships between parent-child communication and indirect persuasion on reducing teens’ texting and driving behaviors
  • 5. Literature Review  Parent-Child Communication  Indirect Persuasion
  • 6. Parent-Child Communication  Parents who watched PSA’s were more likely to talk to their children about the issues addressed in the message (Evans et al., 2012)  Discussions between parents and children have been found to be related to a shared belief about a risk  Targeted conversations about the risks of alcohol use was found to be significantly related to both recent alcohol use and positive expectancies of alcohol use (Miller-Day & Kam, 2010)  Overall, parent involvement has a positive influence on the decision-making of adolescents on risk-taking behavior (Hartos, Eitel, & Simon-Morton, 2002; Beck, Shattuck, & Raleigh, 2001)
  • 7. Indirect Persuasion  Parents who used implicit language to prevent teens from using drug are more successful than those who used explicit language (Alvaro et al., 2008)  Teens who were targeted by indirect messages were more likely to evaluate the message more positively (Crano et al., 2007)  Message targeting also correlated with self-report behavioral intentions  Persuasion from parents, regardless of language types, are perceived more positively than that from peers (Alvaro et al., 2008)  Connection to parent-child communication
  • 8. The Present Investigation  1.) Administer field survey to get at characteristics of parent-child communication  2.) Replicates Crano’s (2007) procedure in the context of teenage texting and driving behaviors  using inhalants and texting and driving are both dangerous, risky behaviors  teens are the risk group in both contexts
  • 9. The Field Study  Goal: investigate the relationship between direct verbal communication in a texting and driving context  Constructs  Frequency and content of conversations; perception of and recent engagement in texting and driving  Participants  Procedure  Hypotheses:  1.) Teens who receive direct anti-texting messages from their parents will perceive texting while driving as more of a risk as compared to those who do not receive direct anti-texting messages from their parents  2.) Teens who receive direct anti-texting messages from their parents will report less texting while driving behaviors as compared to those who do not receive direct anti-texting messages from their parents
  • 10. The Laboratory Study  Design: 2 x 3 factorial  Between subjects  Variables  IV: user status and target  DV: message evaluation and behavioral intention  Participants  Procedure  Hypotheses:  1.) Indirect messages will have a more positive effect on both outcome measures than direct messages.  (1a) Operators and vulnerable operators will evaluate the indirect message more positively and will report lower scores of behavioral intention to text and drive in the future as compared to those respective participants who will witness the direct message.  2.) Non-operators will show no bias in evaluation between the direct and indirect messages.  (2a) The message type will not affect their reported behavioral intention.
  • 11. Conclusion  PSA’s targeted towards parents will promote parent  child communication which will reduce risky driving behavior  Simultaneously, teens who overhear these messages will be indirectly persuaded to reduce the risky behavior and evaluate the message positively  Therefore, texting campaigns should be solely targeted towards parents.
  • 12. References          Alvaro, E., Crano, W., Siegel, J., Grandpre, J., & Miller, C. (2008, May). Talking about drug prevention ads: Adolescent responses to interpersonal discussion about drug prevention media campaign messages. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Montreal, QC. Beck, K. H., Shattuck, T., & Raleigh, R. (2001). Parental predictors of teen driving risk. American Journal of Health Behavior,25, 10-20. doi:10.5993/AJHB.25.1.2 Compton, R. & Ellison-Potter, P. (2008). Teen driver crashes: A report to congress. (Report No. DOT HS 811 005). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Retrieved from Crano, W. D., Siegel, J. T., Alvaro, E. M., & Patel, N. M. (2007). Overcoming adolescents’ resistance to anti-inhalant appeals. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 21, 516-524. doi:10.1037/0893-164X.21.4.516 Evans, W. D., Davis, K. C., Ashley, O. S., & Khan, M. (2012). Effects of media messages on parent-child sexual communication. Journal of Health Communication, 17, 498-514. doi:10.1080/10810730.2011.635772 Hartos, J., Eitel, P., & Simons-Morton, B. (2002). Parenting practices and adolescent risky driving: A three-month prospective study. Health Education & Behavior, 29, 194-206. doi:10.1177/109019810202900205 Lee, J. D. (2007). Technology and teen drivers. Journal of Safety Research, 38, 203-213. doi:10.1016/j.jsr.2007.02.008 Madden, M. Lenhart, A.,Teens and Distracted Driving, Pew Internet & American Life Project, November 16, 2009,, October 08, 2013. 1-16. Miller-Day, M., & Kam, J. A. (2010). More than just openness: Developing and validating a measure of targeted parent-child communication about alcohol. Health Communication, 25, 293-302. doi:10.1080/10410231003698952