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Finding a safe place to cross the road: the effect of distractors and the role of attention in children's identification of safe and dangerous road-crossing sites

By Z. Tabibi and Karen Pfeffer

Abstract

Negotiating traffic requires the ability to focus attention on the traffic environment and ignore distracting stimuli. The aims of this study were (1) to examine the effect of distractors on children's ability to identify safe and dangerous road-crossing sites and (2) to examine the relationship between identification of safe/dangerous sites and attention (selective attention, attention switching sustained attention and divided amtion), Participants\ud were 88 children (aged between 6 and 11 years) and 29\ud adults. Ability to identify safe and dangerous road-crossing sites was assessed using computer presentations of sites with and without visual and auditory distractions. Measures of attention were examined using the Test of Everyday Attention (child and adult versions). The ability to identify safe and dangerous road-crossing sites and performance on the attention tests were found to improve with increasing age, Correct identification of safe/\ud dangerous roadcrossing sites was related to selective attention and divided attention for children but not for adults. Road safety training should take into account the development of these skills

Topics: C800 Psychology, C820 Developmental Psychology
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1002/icd.509
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:3800
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