Background Risky driving behaviors
contribute to adolescent
injury, disability, and death, yet little is known about how mental health factors are associated with adolescent
The purpose of the research was to determine the association of risky driving behaviors
and mental health symptoms in novice adolescent
We recruited a convenience sample (n
= 60) of adolescents to complete an assessment of driving performance errors in a high-fidelity simulator (Simulated Driving Assessment [SDA] Error Score) and a self-report measure of risky driving (Behavior of Young Novice Drivers Survey [BYNDS]). Participants also completed a mental health assessment of self-reported symptoms of depression (Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD; inattention and hyperactivity–impulsivity), conduct disorder
, and oppositional defiant disorder
(Conners-3 self-report and parent report). We evaluated the cross-sectional relationships between SDA Error Score, BYNDS, and mental health survey data with descriptive statistics, bivariate correlations, and linear regression.
In linear regression models, higher self-reported inattentive ADHD T-scores were associated with higher SDA Error Score (model adjusted R2
= .20). Higher self-reported T-scores of hyperactive–impulsive ADHD and conduct disorder
were associated with higher BYNDS total scores (model adjusted R2
= .32). Parent report measures were not associated with adolescent
BYNDS total score or SDA Error Score.
These data highlight the association of risky driving with adolescent
symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and conduct disorder
. The early stage of independent driving is an important time for addressing the relationship between driving performance and mental health conditions.