All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Jessica H Mirman

Advisory Committee Members

Leann Long

Catherine McDonald

Olivio Clay

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences


Child restraint systems, like car seats and booster seats, are effective at preventing serious injury and death for children involved in motor vehicle collisions. Despite this, the majority of families in the United States either do not use, or incorrectly use, child restraint systems. Further, racial minorities are consistently reported to have higher rates of child restraint system non- and misuse than their White peers; research has yet to explain this relationship with previously hypothesized factors (e.g., caregiver education, sources of information). The overall objective of this project was to explain how child, caregiver, and context factors interacted to influence child restraint system use. To address this objective, three studies were conducted. Study one was a meta-analysis of caregiver-directed interventions designed to promote use of child restraint systems. The second study was a mixed-methods study of 50 mother-child dyads, designed to explain how child factors may influence child restraint system use during trips. The third paper examined potential mediating factors of the effect of race on child restraint system use. Collectively, the findings indicated that caregiver-directed interventions were effective at increasing the number of children restrained, however the majority of the studies examined were at a high risk for bias. Additionally, child, caregiver, and context factors likely impact child restraint system use in a complex way.



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