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The role of risk-taking and errors in children's liability to unintentional injury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Richard Rowe, Barbara Maughan

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)670 - 675
Number of pages6
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number4
PublishedJul 2009

King's Authors


There is likely to be heterogeneity in the processes putting children at risk of injury. This paper examines whether errors may form a dissociable process from risk-taking. We further examine whether these constructs mediate the links between emotional and behavioural problems and unintentional injury. We designed the parent-report Children's Injury Related Behaviour (CIRB) questionnaire to measure errors and risk-taking in everyday activities. The sample consisted of 499 children aged 4-11 years recruited from the community. Principal components analysis showed that a two factor solution was appropriate and provided scales to measure risk and error with good psychometric properties. Both risk and error scales were independently related to injury history. Errors were associated with conduct problems, emotional problems and hyperactivity. Risk-taking was associated with conduct problems and hyperactivity only. Risk-taking and errors accounted for the links of conduct problems and hyperactivity with injury involvement. The distinction between risk and error has implications for research and interventions to reduce childhood injuries. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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