Does an ecological model explain self-report motorcycle use and injuries among early adolescents?
Serious injuries result from motorcycle crashes among adolescents (Cassell et al.,
2006). Psychological and social factors that might explain the likelihood of motorcycle
use and motorcycle related injuries among early adolescents are relatively
unexplored particularly within the Australian context. In this study an ecological
approach was taken to understand such factors including individual characteristics,
perceived peer behaviour, relationships with parents and connection to school.
These risk and protective factors were examined in relation to on-road motorcycle
riding and injuries related to general motorcycle use by 13-14 year olds. In the study
of more than 500 Grade 9 South-East Queensland students, sixteen percent
indicated that in the past three months they rode a motorcycle on the road. Further
sixteen percent of the entire sample also indicated that they had been injured while
riding a motorcycle in the previous three months. The aim of this study was, from an
ecological perspective, to examine factors that explained on-road motorcycle use and
factors that explained injuries related to general motorcycle use. The results are
discussed in terms of the implications and directions for future regarding research
and policy, in particular with regard to interventions. That one-eighth of the sample
engaged in this illegal and dangerous behaviour indicates a timely need to
understand motorcycle use among adolescents.