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Patterns of traffic offenses from adolescent licensure into early young adulthood

Publication Abstract

Bingham, C.R., J.T. Shope, and Trivellore Raghunathan. 2006. "Patterns of traffic offenses from adolescent licensure into early young adulthood." Journal of Adolescent Health, 39(1), 35-42.

Purpose: This article examines adolescent psychosocial and problem behavior characteristics as predictors of traffic offenses from licensure to early young adulthood.

Methods: Data for this study were from a school-based sample that was surveyed in 10th and 12th grades, and again in early young adulthood. In addition, state driver history records were obtained for each participant in the study and provided a complete traffic offense history.

Results: Models adjusted for driving exposure showed varying patterns of prediction for men and women across three types of ticketed moving violations (offenses): minor offenses, serious offenses, and alcohol offenses. Although which predictors were significant varied across gender and type of offense, results suggested that more positive psychosocial adjustment predicted lower numbers, greater decreases, and a lower likelihood of increases in offenses from licensure through the early 20s.

Conclusions: Based on this research, implications for intervention include providing parents with the tools and knowledge needed to effectively supervise their teens' driving during the first years of licensure. Also potentially important for their broad positive effects on problem behaviors, including problem driving, are programs that strengthen adolescents' bonds to conventional social institutions and increase their attachment to the people who represent those institutions. Future research should examine the longitudinal sequencing of associations among psychosocial and problem behavior variables, including problem driving. (c) 2006 Society for Adolescent Medicine. All rights reserved.

DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2005.10.002 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC1553214. (Pub Med Central)

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