School-age children’s safety attitudes, cognitions, knowledge, and injury experiences: how do these relate to their safety practices?

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A variety of factors affect the safety and risk practices of school-age children, but rarely have multiple factors been considered simultaneously.


To examine children’s safety attitudes and cognitions more thoroughly and assess how these factors, along with children’s safety knowledge and injury experiences, relate to children’s safety practices.


Over several classroom sessions, boys and girls in two age groups (7–9, 10–12 years) completed a psychometrically sound questionnaire that indexes their behaviors, attitudes, cognitions, knowledge, and injury experiences.


Fewer safety practices were reported by older than younger children and boys than girls. Children’s attitudes, cognitions, knowledge, and injury experiences each correlated with safety practices, but only safety attitudes and injury experiences predicted practices in a multivariate model.


Exploring the relative influence of numerous factors on safety practices highlights the important role that attitudes play in predicting children’s safety practices. Implications of these results for injury prevention programming are discussed.

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