Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

How road-safety interventions can incorporate social norms: A gender-driven approach

Document Type

Poster

Abstract Category

Prevention and Community Health

Keywords

social norms, psychosocial factors, gender, road safety, adolescents

Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2019

Abstract

Normative influences have been explored across a variety of health domains and have increasingly been the targets of health communication efforts. Despite growth in norms literature, the influence of norms across gender isn’t well understood. Within the realm of road traffic safety, males carry three times a greater risk for crash than females; the urgency and stark gender-based differences in road traffic incidence risk provides an opportunity to investigate the normative influences across gender-based differences. The current study applied the Theory of Normative Social Behavior (TNSB) to road traffic safety behaviors in male and female adolescents in order to understand these gender-based differences in normative influences. In this quasi-experimental study, high-school age students were exposed to a road traffic safety presentation in their school. Surveys were administered to both treatment and control schools before the intervention, immediately after, and 6-months after, exploring social norms and high-risk driving intentions. Independent samples t-tests were used to test whether social norms and high-risk driving intentions differed across males and females. Zero-order Pearson correlations and hierarchical regression equations were used to investigate the association between social norms and high-risk driving intentions among males and females. Hierarchical regression equations were also used to investigate the moderating effects of collective norms and injunctive norms on the relationship between descriptive norms and high-risk driving intentions among males and females. Males and females differed in social norms and high-risk intentions. Additionally, descriptive norms were found to significantly predict change in high-risk driving intentions among females (β=0.14, p=.001), and marginally predict it among males (β=0.08, p=.085). The relationship between descriptive norms and change in high-risk driving intentions was moderated by collective norms among males, while it was moderated by injunctive norms among females.The findings support the hypothesis that descriptive norms are associated with behavior intentions, however, the context surrounding road traffic safety risk moderates the influence descriptive norms have on behavior intentions. Among the constructs of TNSB, gender must be considered as a contextual factor that shapes this relationship. In the context of road traffic safety, perceptions of social approval interacts with perceptions of behavior prevalence in females in a way that doesn’t occur in males. On the other hand, the influence of descriptive norms on intentions is strongest in males when collective risky behavior is low.

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Presented at Research Days 2019.

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How road-safety interventions can incorporate social norms: A gender-driven approach

Normative influences have been explored across a variety of health domains and have increasingly been the targets of health communication efforts. Despite growth in norms literature, the influence of norms across gender isn’t well understood. Within the realm of road traffic safety, males carry three times a greater risk for crash than females; the urgency and stark gender-based differences in road traffic incidence risk provides an opportunity to investigate the normative influences across gender-based differences. The current study applied the Theory of Normative Social Behavior (TNSB) to road traffic safety behaviors in male and female adolescents in order to understand these gender-based differences in normative influences. In this quasi-experimental study, high-school age students were exposed to a road traffic safety presentation in their school. Surveys were administered to both treatment and control schools before the intervention, immediately after, and 6-months after, exploring social norms and high-risk driving intentions. Independent samples t-tests were used to test whether social norms and high-risk driving intentions differed across males and females. Zero-order Pearson correlations and hierarchical regression equations were used to investigate the association between social norms and high-risk driving intentions among males and females. Hierarchical regression equations were also used to investigate the moderating effects of collective norms and injunctive norms on the relationship between descriptive norms and high-risk driving intentions among males and females. Males and females differed in social norms and high-risk intentions. Additionally, descriptive norms were found to significantly predict change in high-risk driving intentions among females (β=0.14, p=.001), and marginally predict it among males (β=0.08, p=.085). The relationship between descriptive norms and change in high-risk driving intentions was moderated by collective norms among males, while it was moderated by injunctive norms among females.The findings support the hypothesis that descriptive norms are associated with behavior intentions, however, the context surrounding road traffic safety risk moderates the influence descriptive norms have on behavior intentions. Among the constructs of TNSB, gender must be considered as a contextual factor that shapes this relationship. In the context of road traffic safety, perceptions of social approval interacts with perceptions of behavior prevalence in females in a way that doesn’t occur in males. On the other hand, the influence of descriptive norms on intentions is strongest in males when collective risky behavior is low.