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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1987;13(1-2):157-74.

The use of vignette analysis of dangerous driving situations involving alcohol to differentiate adolescent DWI offenders and high school drivers.

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  • 1University of Washington, Seattle 98105.


Adolescent drivers are commonly involved in a variety of dangerous driving situations involving alcohol and drug use. Both situational and personality factors contribute to the adolescent DWI phenomenon. Little is known about young drivers' ability to analyze common potentially dangerous alcohol-involved driving situations, or in what respects differing patterns of analysis differentiate adolescent drivers at risk for DWI. Three groups of adolescent drivers (N = 153) completed an analysis of vignettes questionnaire to assess their decision-making skills and attitudes with respect to drinking and driving. The three comparison groups consisted of high school drivers, young DWI offenders, and juvenile offenders without DWI citations. Subjects were demographically similar except for academic performance, employment, family intactness, car ownership, and drug and alcohol use, with DWI offenders and non-DWI offenders showing significant differences in these measures (p less than .001). Situation analysis showed that adolescent DWI offenders more often than controls drink prior to driving (p less than .001), associate alcohol with many social events and dating (p less than .001), become angry when questioned about driving ability (p less than .001), play drinking games (p = .1), drive fast to resolve stress (p = .001), are less likely to recruit parents when faced with driving intoxicated (p less than .001), and a number of other situational characteristics indicating differential risk between groups for DWI. In many cases, other juvenile offenders matched responses of DWI offenders. Important aspects of these findings are discussed in the context of intervention strategies and the use of vignette analysis as one tool to identify high-risk adolescent drivers for DWI.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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