Key beliefs influencing young drivers' engagement with social interactive technology on their Smartphones: A qualitative study

Gauld, Cassandra, Lewis, Ioni, White, Katherine, & Watson, Barry (2016) Key beliefs influencing young drivers' engagement with social interactive technology on their Smartphones: A qualitative study. Traffic Injury Prevention, 17(2), pp. 128-133.

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The main aim of this study was to identify young drivers' underlying beliefs (i.e., behavioral, normative, and control) regarding initiating, monitoring/reading, and responding to social interactive technology (i.e., functions on a Smartphone that allow the user to communicate with other people).


This qualitative study was a beliefs elicitation study in accordance with the Theory of Planned Behavior and sought to elicit young drivers' behavioral (i.e., advantages, disadvantages), normative (i.e., who approves, who disapproves), and control beliefs (i.e., barriers, facilitators) which underpin social interactive technology use while driving. Young drivers (N = 26) aged 17 to 25 years took part in an interview or focus group discussion.


While differences emerged between the three behaviors of initiating, monitoring/reading, and responding for each of the behavioral, normative, and control belief categories, the strongest distinction was within the behavioral beliefs category (e.g., communicating with the person that they were on the way to meet was an advantage of initiating; being able to determine whether to respond was an advantage of monitoring/reading; and communicating with important people was an advantage of responding). Normative beliefs were similar for initiating and responding behaviors (e.g., friends and peers more likely to approve than other groups) and differences emerged for monitoring/reading (e.g., parents were more likely to approve of this behavior than initiating and responding). For control beliefs, there were differences between the beliefs regarding facilitators of these behaviors (e.g., familiar roads and conditions facilitated initiating; having audible notifications of an incoming communication facilitated monitoring/reading; and receiving a communication of immediate importance facilitated responding); however, the control beliefs that presented barriers were consistent across the three behaviors (e.g., difficult traffic/road conditions).


The current study provides an important addition to the extant literature and supports emerging research which suggests initiating, monitoring/reading, and responding may indeed be distinct behaviors with different underlying motivations.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
1 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 83820
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1080/15389588.2015.1047014
ISSN: 1538-957X
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 30 Apr 2015 22:16
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 16:47

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