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Awarded Research Grant to Prevent Unintentional Injuries

Childhood Rear Seating among the Hard-to-Reach

FOA Number: CE03-033 - Grants for Dissemination Research of Effective Interventions to Prevent Unintentional Injuries
Project Period: 10/01/03–09/30/06
Application/Grant Number: 1-R49-CE123399-01
Principal Investigator: Susan Scavo Gallagher, MPH
Education Development Center, Inc.
55 Chapel Street
Newton, MA 02458-1060
Phone: 617-618-2206
Fax: 615-969-9186


The Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) and the Harvard Injury Control Research Center (HICRC) will disseminate a successful prevention strategy to increase child rear seating in a low-income, ethnically diverse community (Brockton, MA) with a substantial Cape Verdean population. It has been known for decades that the rear seat is safer than the front seat for child occupants; however, widespread change in seating patterns has not occurred. This project builds on the successful CDC-funded, community-based Niňos Atras program and will be led by the same research team. The theoretical basis for the intervention is rooted in principles of behavioral science, namely diffusion of innovation and social marketing theories, which will guide the design of materials and activities. An incentive program that is compatible with both behavioral models will be a key component. Using formative research (e.g., focus groups, key informant interviews), culturally appropriate materials and activities will be developed and disseminated in collaboration with a community coalition, to be led by a full-time, bilingual community coordinator who is also a Brockton resident. The dissemination strategy will place particular emphasis on ensuring that educational materials and strategies target populations hardest to reach, as informed by the Niňos Atras program: males; minority racial or ethnic groups (i.e., Cape Verdean, Haitian, and Hispanic); and low-income, low-literacy families. The primary outcome, child rear seating, will be assessed by observational study. Adult seat belt use will be a secondary outcome. Additional outcome measures include changes in knowledge and attitude toward child rear seating as assessed by brief driver interviews; intensity and penetration of the intervention as assessed by process measures and interviews; program institutionalization as assessed by key informant interviews; and cost-effectiveness analysis.