Increased parent limits on teen driving: Positive effects from a brief intervention administered at the Motor Vehicle Administration

Bruce G. Simons-Morton, Jessica L. Hartos, Kenneth H. Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

34 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine whether exposure to a brief intervention administered at the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) increases parental limits on teen driving. A total of 658 parents and their 16-year-old adolescents were recruited from a local MVA site as adolescents successfully tested for provisional licenses. At the MVA, participating parents completed written surveys about expected teen driving during the 1st month of provisional licensure. One month later, 579 parent-teen dyads completed follow-up telephone interviews about teen driving within the past month. On weeks assigned as Intervention, parents were exposed to a video and given the video and a driving agreement to take home. In multivariate linear regression analyses, the results indicated that when controlling for selected demographic and baseline psychosocial variables, intervention parents reported more driving rules, restricted driving, limits for high-speed roads, weekend night restrictions, and overall driving limits than did parents in the control group. When compared to control teens, intervention teens reported more limits on passengers, high-speed roads, and night driving, and on overall driving limits, but there were no differences for overall driving or driving under high-risk conditions. In addition, intervention parents were about 3 times, and intervention teens were about 5 times, more likely than controls to report using a parent-teen driving agreement. These results indicate that brief exposure to intervention at an MVA office may help increase parental limits on teen driving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-111
Number of pages11
JournalPrevention Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2004



  • Driving contract or agreement
  • Driving restrictions or limits
  • Parenting
  • Teen driving

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