Talking with teens about traffic safety: Initial feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a parent-targeted intervention for primary care settings. Academic Article uri icon


  • The aims of the current pilot study were to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of the Talking with Teens about Traffic Safety Program. The program consists of a clinic-based health coaching session with parents of adolescents at their annual well-child visit to promote parent-teen communication about teen driver safety including: a Parent Handbook that is designed to serve as a primer on teen driver safety and facilitate parent-teen communication on a variety of teen driver topics; an interactive practice driving toolset; and an endorsement of the materials by the primary care provider.Fifty-four parent-teen dyads (n = 108 total) were recruited from a primary care practice. Dyads were randomized (1:1) into a treatment group or a usual care group. Implementation fidelity was assessed using checklists completed by health coaches and parent interviews. After 6 months, parents reported how often they talked with their teen about 12 safe driving topics (e.g., state graduated driver licensing laws).Parents in the treatment group reported more frequent discussions than parents in the control group on 7 out of the 12 topics. Fidelity data indicate that 100% of sessions were implemented as designed and were acceptable to parents.The program was feasible to administer and there was evidence for preliminary efficacy. Generally, effects were larger for more infrequently discussed topics, which is to be expected due to the potential for ceiling effects on more commonly discussed topics (e.g., distracted driving). A larger multi-site study is warranted.The results from this pilot study provide support for implementation fidelity and establish a proof-of-concept for the Talking with Teens about Traffic Safety Program. The results provide guidance for developing partnerships with pediatricians and parents to develop parent-teen communication interventions on injury prevention topics.Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd and National Safety Council. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • December 2018