So you just got your license and you want a new car. Well, your safety behind the wheel may have something to do with whether you own the car and parenting style.
Parenting styles make a big difference in how teens drive according to a national representative survey of approximately 5000 students in grades 9-12. The categories for parental style consisted of authoritative (high support, high control), authoritarian (low support, high control), permissive (high support and low control) and uninvolved (low support and low control).
The results showed that teens who were the primary drivers of a vehicle were twice as likely to be involved in a crash during the past 12 months than teens who reported shared access to a vehicle.
Also, teens who reported their parents were authoritative (high control, but high support) were significantly less likely to report being involved in a car accident in the past 12 months than teens of parents who were categorized as uninvolved.
Teenagers describing their parents as authoritarian or authoritative were significantly more likely to were seat belts as drivers and passengers as those with uninvolved parents.
So what’s the bottom line?
Support your kids, but give them boundaries (rules) and structure. The combination of love and discipline goes a long way. Take the time to stay involved and be consistent and don’t acquiesce to all requests despite protests. It may save your kid’s life.
Reference: Ginsburg KR et al. Associations between parenting styles and teen driving, safety related behaviors and attitudes. Pediatrics 2009 Oct; 124:1040.
Garcia-Espana JF et al. Primary access to vehicles increases risky teen driving behaviors and crashes: National perspective. Pediatrics 2009 Oct; 124: 1069.