An application of a modified theory of planned behavior model to investigate adolescents’ job safety knowledge, norms, attitude and intention to enact workplace safety and health skills
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An application of a modified theory of planned behavior model to investigate adolescents’ job safety knowledge, norms, attitude and intention to enact workplace safety and health skills

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  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      J Safety Res
    • Description:
      Introduction: For many reasons, including a lack of adequate safety training and education, U.S. adolescents experience a higher rate of job-related injury compared to adult workers. Widely used social-psychological theories in public health research and practice, such as the theory of planned behavior, may provide guidance for developing and evaluating school-based interventions to prepare adolescents for workplace hazards and risks. Method: Using a structural equation modeling approach, the current study explores whether a modified theory of planned behavior model provides insight on 1,748 eighth graders’ occupational safety and health (OSH) attitude, subjective norm, self-efficacy and behavioral intention, before and after receiving instruction on a free, national young worker safety and health curriculum. Reliability estimates for the measures were produced and direct and indirect associations between knowledge and other model constructs assessed. Results: Overall, the findings align with the theory of planned behavior. The structural equation model adequately fit the data; most path coefficients are statistically significant and knowledge has indirect effects on behavioral intention. Confirmatory factor analyses suggest that the knowledge, attitude, self-efficacy, and behavioral intention measures each reflect a unique dimension (reliability estimates ≥0.86), while the subjective norm measure did not perform adequately. Conclusion: The findings presented provide support for using behavioral theory (specifically a modified theory of planned behavior) to investigate adolescents’ knowledge, perceptions, and behavioral intention to engage in safe and healthful activities at work, an understanding of which may contribute to reducing the downstream burden of injury on this vulnerable population—the future workforce. Practical application: Health behavior theories, commonly used in the social and behavioral sciences, have utility and provide guidance for developing and evaluating OSH interventions, including those aimed at preventing injuries and promoting the health and safety of adolescent workers in the U.S., who are injured at higher rates than are adults.
    • Pubmed ID:
      32199561
    • Pubmed Central ID:
      PMC8605621
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