Training Children in Pedestrian Safety: Distinguishing Gains in Knowledge from Gains in Safe Behavior

Key takeaway:

  • Improving both knowledge and behavior for pedestrian safety among children may require complementary training with multiple tools and in different contexts.


  • Training by video/software/internet and individual instruction resulted in increased knowledge, but not increased safe behavior. Training virtually resulted in increased safe behavior, but not increased knowledge.
  • Improvements in knowledge were not significantly related to improvements in behavior across all experimental groups. Researchers suggested that measures of knowledge and behavior covered many broad topics and that training for pedestrian safety is a complex process that may require combinations of training types and contexts.


  • This study conducted a randomized controlled trial of 240 children ages 7-8, with children assigned to one of four training conditions: videos/software/internet, virtual reality, individualized streetside instruction, or a no-contact control. At baseline, post-training, and six-month following, researchers assessed participant knowledge verbally using ten questions and assessed behavior using virtual and actual street crossing simulations.


Schwebel, D. C., & Mcclure, L. A. (2014). Training Children in Pedestrian Safety : Distinguishing Gains in Knowledge from Gains in Safe Behavior. Journal of Primary Prevention, 35(3), 151–162.

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