It takes two: A brief report examining mutual support between parents and teens learning to drive

Academic Article


  • Parental supervision of teen drivers has been identified as a way to mitigate teen crash risk. However, we know little about what motivates parents to be engaged supervisors throughout all phases of the learning-to-drive process. As a result, we are just beginning to understand what factors might motivate parents to actively supervise pre-license practice. In the current study, we examine how the provision of social support between parent and teen dyads might relate to parents' intention to remain engaged supervisors for the entire learner phase. Participants were a national sample of 309 teens with learner permits (age range 15-17 years, M (SD) 16.1 (0.8)) and a parent practice supervisor in the United States. Results indicated that parents in mutually supportive dyads reported stronger intentions to be engaged in their teens' practice driving over the course of the permit phase as compared to dyads where both members reported receiving low support: (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) [95% confidence interval (CI)]: 2.02 [1.04, 3.94]; p = 0.038). No benefit was observed for only having one member of the dyad provide support, irrespective of it being the parent or the teen. Future research on this topic should consider reciprocal parent-teen interactions as potential determinates of parent driving supervision behaviors. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Mirman JH; Curry AE; Wang W; Fisher Thiel MC; Durbin DR
  • Start Page

  • 23
  • End Page

  • 29
  • Volume

  • 69