Caregiver supervision and injury risk: A comparison of mothers' and older siblings' reactions to a young child

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Rae, Sarah Alexandra

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University of Guelph


Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for young children, and caregiver supervision is an important factor in reducing child injury risk (e.g., Peterson & Saldana, 1996). Research has shown that young children are at increased risk of injury when older siblings are supervising (Morrongiello, MacIsaac, & Klemencic, 2007), but behavioural data on older siblings is lacking. In the current study, mothers and older, siblings (n = 36) watched a videotape of a toddler engaging in no risk, risk, and rude behaviours, and were asked to imagine it was the young child in their own family. Participants were instructed to stop the tape and speak to the child whenever they would in real life. Results revealed that mothers responded to significantly more behaviours than older siblings and the strategies used by mothers and older siblings differed. Implications for young children's risk of injury while under older sibling supervision and directions for future research are discussed.



caregiver supervision, injury risk, older siblings, mothers, unintentional injury