Preadolescent Temperament and Risky Behavior: Bicycling Across Traffic-Filled Intersections in a Virtual Environment

Stevens, Erin; Plumert, Jodie M.; Cremer, James F.; Kearney, Joseph K.
April 2013
Journal of Pediatric Psychology;Apr2013, Vol. 38 Issue 3, p285
Academic Journal
Objective This investigation used a bicycling simulator to examine how preadolescent temperament is related to risky behavior. Methods Children aged 10 and 12 years (N = 109) rode a bicycle through a virtual environment where they crossed intersections with continuous cross traffic. Mothers filled out the Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire-Revised. Results Older children and male participants timed their entry into the intersection more precisely than did younger children and female participants, as did 10-year-old children higher in inhibitory control and 10-year-old boys higher in aggression. However, only 10-year-old children higher in inhibitory control had more time to spare when they cleared the intersection. For 10-year-old boys higher in aggression, cutting in more closely behind the lead vehicle was accompanied by less stopping at intersections, less waiting before crossing, and choosing smaller gaps to cross. Conclusions The Discussion section focuses on inhibitory control as a protective factor and aggression as a risk factor for car–bicycle collisions.


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