Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Risky driving, mental health, and health-compromising behaviours: risk clustering in late adolescents and adults.

TitleRisky driving, mental health, and health-compromising behaviours: risk clustering in late adolescents and adults.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMcDonald CC, Sommers MS, Fargo JD
JournalInj Prev
Date Published2014 May 9

BACKGROUND: Health-compromising behaviours in adolescents and adults co-occur. Because motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and disability for these age groups, understanding the association between risky driving and other health-compromising behaviours is critical.

METHODS: We performed a secondary analysis of data from a randomised controlled trial of an intervention for participants who screened positive for risky driving and problem drinking. Using baseline data, we examined relationships among conduct behaviour problems before and after age 15 years, depressive symptoms, sleep, problem drinking, and risky driving (hostile, reckless and drinking and driving) in late adolescents ages 18-24 (n=110) years, and adults ages 25-44 (n=202) years. We developed a measurement model for the entire sample using confirmatory factor analysis, which was then specified as a multigroup structural equation model.

RESULTS: Late adolescents and adults had some similar associations for pathways through problem drinking to drinking and driving; depression to reckless driving; and conduct behaviour problems after 15 years of age to hostile driving. Late adolescents, however, had more complex relationships: depressive symptoms and conduct behaviour problems before 15 years of age were associated with more risky driving behaviours through multiple pathways, and males reported more risky driving.

CONCLUSIONS: Risky driving is associated with other health-compromising behaviours and mental health factors. It is a multidimensional phenomenon more pronounced in late adolescence than adulthood. In order to promote safe driving, the findings support the need to consider behaviours that are a health threat in the late adolescent population during driving training and licensure.


Alternate JournalInj. Prev.
PubMed ID24814717
Grant ListK99 NR013548 / NR / NINR NIH HHS / United States
T32 NR007100 / NR / NINR NIH HHS / United States