Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Boosting Restraint Norms: A Community-Delivered Campaign to Promote Booster Seat Use

TitleBoosting Restraint Norms: A Community-Delivered Campaign to Promote Booster Seat Use
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBryant-Stephens T, Garcia-España JF, Winston FK
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Date Published12/2012
KeywordsAccident Prevention, Behavioral Research, Child Restraint Systems, Community, Community Health Education, Injury, Intervention Studies, Prevention, Seat Belts, Social Marketing

Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a theoretically-grounded community- delivered marketing campaign to promote belt-positioning booster seat (BPB) use among vulnerable populations when disseminated by community members.

Methods: A prospective, nonrandomized community intervention trial was conducted to evaluate the ‘Boosting Restraint Norms’ social marketing campaign delivered by community partners in Norristown, PA (Intervention Community) between October 2008 and November 2008. York, PA, served as the Comparison Community. In total, 800 vehicles with 822 children aged 4 to 7 years were observed for BPB use, the primary outcome of interest, at baseline (September 2008) and at 6 months after intervention (April 2009).

Results: During the study period, a 28% increase in the prevalence of BPB use at 6 months was observed in the Intervention Community with no change in the prevalence of BPB use in the Comparison Community. After adjustment for child age and gender, vehicle type, driver gender, and driver level, BPB use increased from 39% to 50% in the Intervention Community with no observed change in the Comparison Community.

Conclusions: The ‘Boosting Restraint Norms’ social marketing campaign, distributed through community organizations combined with caregiver education and a one-time free distribution of BPBs, was effective in increasing BPB use. This study demonstrates the feasibility of utilizing community organizations with established audiences to spread the ‘No Regrets’ messaging of the campaign in the community. This study also indicates that spreading evidence-based messages in this manner may effectively change behavior in populations that are often hard to reach. Future studies are needed in which this methodology is tested in additional communities and rural settings.