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Awarded Research Cooperative Agreement to Prevent Unintentional Injuries

Community-based intervention to increase seat belt use among teens in Jackson, MS

FOA Number: CE06-007: Evaluation of Community-based approaches to increasing seat belt use among adolescent drivers and their passengers
Project Period: 9/1/2006 – 8/31/2010
Application/Grant Number: 1-U49-CE001022-01
Principal Investigator: Juarez, Paul D.
Meharry Medical College
1005 Dr. D.B. Todd Jr., Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37208


Mississippi ranks last, at 60.8%, among the 50 states, WA DC, and Puerto Rico, in the overall rate of seat belt use. Within the State of Mississippi, urban African American males, 15-19, have the lowest (18%) seat belt usage rates of all sub-population groups! The proposed project will evaluate the independent and combined effects of a multi-faceted, community-wide campaign to increase seatbelt usage among adolescent motorists ages 15 to 19 in Jackson, Mississippi. Project aims are: 1. To evaluate the impact of a targeted, school-based, peer-to-peer, service learning intervention that promotes seatbelt use by students in Jackson public high schools.; 2. To evaluate the impact of a comprehensive, community-based, educational and media campaign to increase youth awareness and usage of seat belts; and 3: To compare study results with other secondary data sets that reflect changes in teen seat belt use rates.


HI: A peer-to-peer, service learning intervention conducted by youth who attend the Jackson Public Schools will result in increased knowledge, attitudes, and rates of seat belt usage as measured through pre/post surveys and observations. H2: The JYSBC will identify and engage community agencies and businesses in close proximity to public high schools to adapt activities that will promote teen seat belt use. H3: The JYSBC will identify and engage major youth-serving businesses and agencies across the community to promote seat belt messaging. H4: The JYSBC will provide education about organizational and public policies that promote teen seat belt use to businesses, organizations, and elected officials in Jackson, MS. H5: A low-cost, community-developed, multi-media campaign will result in improved knowledge and attitudes towards seat belt use by youth 15 to 19 years of age in Jackson, MS. H6: The combined effects of a multi-faceted, community based intervention in Jackson, MS will result in a significant increase in knowledge, awareness and usage of seat belts by teens.


Quasi-experimental and qualitative designs and methods will be used to monitor changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of seat belt use among teens and of changes in organizational and public policies over the course of the project.


Jackson, Mississippi.


Teens 15-19 years of age.


Two major interventions will be used. The first is a school based service learning intervention in which students will develop and implement an intervention that utilizes principles of service learning. The second intervention utilizes a comprehensive, community based coalition to work with businesses, community organizations, the media, and public officials to promote teen seat belt use.

Main Outcome Measures

Self reports of seat belt knowledge, awareness, and use; community and school parking lot observations; and exposure of teens to business, community, and media seat belt messages.