Can Exposure to Framed Messages About Safety Reduce Risk Behaviours by School-Aged Children?

Seasons, Mackenzie
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University of Guelph

Previous research has shown that when in an elevated positive mood state, children engage in more risk behaviours than when in a neutral mood state (Morrongiello, Stewart, Pope, Pogrebtsova, & Boulay, 2014) The current study examined whether delivering framed safety messages reduced risk behaviours when children are in a positive mood. 28 children (7-9 years old) were exposed to a message (gain-frame, loss-frame, or control message) regarding play behaviours on a specific risk-taking measure (an obstacle course). Children’s risk-taking was measured before and after a positive mood has been induced, and the impact of framed safety messaging was examined. Results indicated the mood induction was successful and led to increased risk taking, and gain- and loss- framed messages differentially counteracted this mood effect and led to reduced risk taking. Implications for injury prevention are discussed. Keywords: risk taking, positive mood, social norms, children, injury prevention

risk-taking, mood, framing