Date of Award

Spring 3-26-2004

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Christine A. Bosquez

Second Advisor

Dawn B. Ludwig


Background: The determinants of safety device use and non-use, in 18-22 year olds, are not clear and were targeted in this research. The literature revealed that safety devices are used due to personal safety, habit and legal reasons. Safety devices are not used due to physical discomfort, only drive/ride short distances and forgetfulness. Methods: This study is a multivariable, quantitative-non-experimental study, conducted on the campus of Augsburg College during an orientation event in June 2003. A multiple choice written questionnaire was distributed to participants of the orientation event. The identification of trends and patterns were determined to establish the determinants of safety device use. Results: Of 180 questionnaires 171 were returned for analysis. Of the 171,167 were valid (N: 167). Of the respondents 41.3% were male and 58.7% were female. All of the respondents were 18-22 years old. The most frequently used mode of daily transportation was a motor vehicle (85.5%). Reasons for using safety belts included "personal safety", "habit" and "legal reasons". Reasons for safety belt non-use were "physical discomfort" and "only drive short distances". Conclusions: This study revealed that young adults use safety belts the most frequently, followed by motorcycle helmet use and bicycle helmets were used the least frequently. In each of the three categories "personal safety", "legal requirements" and "habit" were the leading reasons for using safety devices. In addition, of the three categories "physical discomfort" and "only drive short distances" were the leading reasons for safety device non-use.


SC 11.PAS.2004.Rajala.AJ