Peers and parents influence on young risky behaviors: The case of young drivers

Alexandra Gheorghiu


Peers and parents represent powerful sources in modeling young drivers’ behavior. This article aimed to analyze the role of peer and parents observed risky driving behaviors such as crossing at red lights, drinking and driving, priority rule violation, and over-speeding on self-reported risky behaviors. One hundred and forty seven participants aged 18-25 (53% men) answered a questionnaire regarding their own risky driving behaviors and those observed of their peers and parents. Results showed that both peers and parents play a significant role in shaping young drivers’ behavior. Parents were perceived as safer driving models than peers, but had less influence on young drivers’ over-speeding or drinking and driving. The implications of the findings are discussed in light of the countermeasures that could help reduce risky driving such as targeting the negative influence of peers by raising awareness of their potential effect on young drivers’ behavior or by altering the social norms that value risk taking, especially when driving.

risky driving behavior, peer influence, parents influence, observational learning.

Alexandra Gheorghiu – Al. I. Cuza University, Iaşi, Romania, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences

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