Car-safety device behavior among Hispanic drivers

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Denise Korniewicz - Committee Chair


Car safety device (car seats, booster seats, or seat belts) use for children under the age of 15 years is the sole responsibility of drivers transporting children in motor vehicles. However, six children die needlessly and 721 children are seriously injured every day as a result of motor vehicle crashes (MVC). Over 60% of the fatalities result from either unrestrained or inappropriately restrained child occupants. Since 1966, national efforts for the prevention of fatalities and injuries for children involved in MVC appear impotent. Using the Health Belief Model Theoretical Framework, this investigation was implemented to test and refine an instrument to measure the health beliefs of preventive child car-safety practices in Hispanic drivers responsible for CSD use in children up to the age of unrestricted driving. Parental knowledge assessment of appropriate CSD use was assessed using the CSD Knowledge assessment tool (CSD-KAT), shown to be highly accurate for this Hispanic sample in assessing knowledge and CSD behavior. The CSD Health Belief Model Subscale instrument explained 56% of the variability in Hispanic health belief of car safety preventive practice. Perceived confidence in car-safety device use was found to be significantly different for the "child" (4--7 years) age group. Perceived benefits and barriers of car-safety device practice were significantly different across leveled education. Perceived susceptibility and seriousness of child death or injury in motor vehicle accidents was found to be significantly different for Hispanic individuals with varied knowledge of CSD use.


Health Sciences, Nursing; Health Sciences, Public Health

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