Breaking News
November 19, 2018 - New report calls for greater awareness and emphasis on scale and impact of atrial fibrillation
November 19, 2018 - In throes of turkey salmonella outbreak, don’t invite illness to your table
November 19, 2018 - UK health policies should be redesigned to become more accessible for men
November 19, 2018 - Short Interpregnancy Intervals Tied to Adverse Outcome Risk
November 19, 2018 - New mothers’ breastfeeding pain can affect infant health
November 19, 2018 - Stanford Medicine magazine reports on ways digital technology is transforming health care | News Center
November 19, 2018 - Human drugs alter cricket personality
November 19, 2018 - Insilico Medicine to introduce ‘Cure a disease in a year’ program at Biodata World Congress 2018
November 19, 2018 - Experts debate over whether gut or brain is more important in regulating appetite
November 19, 2018 - Playing on fear and fun, hospitals follow pharma in direct-to-consumer advertising
November 19, 2018 - Low-Carb Diets May Work By Boosting Calorie Burn
November 19, 2018 - Key molecule responsible for learning and memory discovered
November 19, 2018 - New blood test developed for early diagnosis of ovarian cancer
November 19, 2018 - Researchers identify molecule to fight myotubular myopathy
November 19, 2018 - New solution to stop spread of brain cancer
November 19, 2018 - Immune cells trigger OCD-like behaviour in multiple sclerosis, study finds
November 19, 2018 - Scientists equip new virus that kills carcinoma cells with protein
November 19, 2018 - Novel approach could provide painless, efficient alternative for treating eye diseases
November 19, 2018 - Protein in cell membranes of sperm plays key role in finding their way to eggs
November 19, 2018 - Parents who decline flu vaccination for their child may be exposed to limited information
November 19, 2018 - Mirati Presents Data From Ongoing Phase 2 Clinical Trial Of Mocetinostat In Combination With Durvalumab At The SITC 33rd Annual Meeting
November 19, 2018 - FDA warns of common diabetes meds’ link to dangerous genital infection
November 19, 2018 - New methods for preserving shoulder function, quality of life in breast cancer patients
November 19, 2018 - Surprising discovery about BH4 may rekindle interest in once-promising pathway
November 19, 2018 - Nabriva Therapeutics Completes Submission of New Drug Application to U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Intravenous Contepo to Treat Complicated Urinary Tract Infections
November 19, 2018 - Beating breast cancer only to die of opioid use – a sad Appalachian story
November 19, 2018 - Workplace bullying or violence linked to higher risk of cardiovascular problems
November 19, 2018 - Changes in Risk Indicators of MetS Severity Tied to T2DM Risk
November 19, 2018 - ‘Game-changing’ skin sensor could improve life for a million hydrocephalus patients
November 19, 2018 - Alcohol ads on social media sites with pro-drinking comments increase desire to drink
November 19, 2018 - Neural networks could replace marker genes in RNA sequencing
November 19, 2018 - Obese adolescents feel less food enjoyment than those with normal weight, study reveals
November 18, 2018 - Goodbye ‘Gluten-Free’? Celiac Disease Vaccine May Make It Possible
November 18, 2018 - Skin ages when the main cells in the dermis lose their identity and function
November 18, 2018 - Rainforest vine compound makes pancreatic cancer cells susceptible to nutrient starvation
November 18, 2018 - A new mechanism in the control of inflammation
November 18, 2018 - Age-related decline in abstract reasoning ability predicts depressive symptoms over time
November 18, 2018 - Scientists succeed in increasing stability, biocompatibility of light-transducing nanoparticles
November 18, 2018 - Sugar, a ‘sweet’ tool to understand brain injuries
November 18, 2018 - Pharmacist-Led Effort Cuts Inappropriate Rx in Older Adults
November 18, 2018 - Novel discovery could lead to new cancer, autoimmune disease therapy
November 18, 2018 - AHA and ADA launch new initiative to help people with type 2 diabetes reduce heart disease risk
November 18, 2018 - Balanced production of pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines at two years of age protects against malaria
November 18, 2018 - New pharmacological agent shows promise for prevention of heart rhythm disorders
November 18, 2018 - All That Social Media May Boost Loneliness, Not Banish It
November 18, 2018 - Scientists shine new light on link between obesity and cancer
November 18, 2018 - Risk factors for cardiovascular disease closely track with changes in diet patterns
November 18, 2018 - Biogen Scoops Sixth Prix Galien Award with UK Win for Life-Changing Rare Disease Medicine
November 18, 2018 - Detectable HIV-1 in treated human liver cells found to be inert
November 18, 2018 - Using light to control crucial step in embryonic development
November 18, 2018 - Unusual case of father-to-son HIV transmission reported
November 18, 2018 - FDA Approves Aemcolo (rifamycin) to Treat Travelers’ Diarrhea
November 18, 2018 - Poverty blamed on widening north-south gap in young adult deaths in England
November 18, 2018 - Progress in meningitis lags far behind other vaccine-preventable diseases, analysis shows
November 18, 2018 - Consensus Statement Issued on Management of Foot, Ankle Gout
November 18, 2018 - Fine particle air pollution is a public health emergency hiding in plain sight
November 18, 2018 - In-hospital mortality higher among patients with drug-resistant infections
November 17, 2018 - Research shines new, explanatory light on link between obesity and cancer
November 17, 2018 - FIND explores new diagnostic assays for confirmatory HCV diagnosis in community settings
November 17, 2018 - Tracking Preemies’ Head Size May Yield IQ Clues
November 17, 2018 - Scientists call for unified standards in 3-D genome and epigenetic data
November 17, 2018 - Lab Innovations 2018 has beaten all records by attracting 3,113 attendees
November 17, 2018 - New strategy to hinder emergence of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens
November 17, 2018 - Sexuality education before age 18 may reduce risk of sexual assault in college
November 17, 2018 - Reducing cellular proliferation could help deplete HIV reservoir and lead to a functional cure
November 17, 2018 - New model of FSHD could be useful to study effectiveness of experimental therapeutics
November 17, 2018 - FDA approves antibacterial drug to treat travelers’ diarrhea
November 17, 2018 - Lab Innovations 2018 confirmed as a major hit with visitors, exhibitors and speakers
November 17, 2018 - Largest parasitic worm genetic study hatches novel treatment possibilities
November 17, 2018 - UCLA biologists uncover how head injuries can lead to serious brain disorders
November 17, 2018 - Static and dynamic physical activities offer varying protection against heart disease
November 17, 2018 - Obesity significantly increases risk of Type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease
November 17, 2018 - New method to analyze cell membrane complexes could revolutionize the way we study diseases
November 17, 2018 - Researchers show how proteins interact in hypoxic conditions to facilitate mitochondrial fission
November 17, 2018 - People with rare cancers can benefit from genomic profiling, shows research
November 17, 2018 - NIH awards over $1.8 million to husband-and-wife doctors to test new breast cancer approach
November 17, 2018 - Four-in-one antibody used to fight flu shows promise in mice
November 17, 2018 - New approach allows pathogens to be starved by blocking important enzymes
November 17, 2018 - Higher body mass index could cause depression even without health problems
November 17, 2018 - Protein which plays role in sensing cell damage serves as new target to treat pulmonary hypertension
Linking teen driving behaviors to ADHD, other mental health factors

Linking teen driving behaviors to ADHD, other mental health factors

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Teenage drivers ages 16 to 19 are three times more likely to get into fatal accidents than their older counterparts. In this age group, around 20 percent in the United States have been affected by symptoms associated with mental health disorders, including 9 percent with a lifetime history of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

What’s the relationship between these well-documented conclusions? That’s what University of Pennsylvania nursing researcher Catherine McDonald wanted to find out.

McDonald studies what distracts these newest drivers on the road. Analyzing data from 60 teens who completed a simulated driving assessment and several questionnaires, she and colleagues from Penn Medicine, the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and Utah State University linked mistakes behind the wheel to self-reported symptoms of ADHD and other mental-health disorders, findings they published in the journal Nursing Research. Paying attention to this connection can expose problem behaviors that, when corrected, can help make teenaged drivers safer.

“Previous studies have shown increases in crash risk related to an ADHD diagnosis,” says McDonald, who has secondary appointments in Penn Medicine and at CIRP. “We wanted to tease apart the nuances behind that. Is it about risk-taking, skill, or performance deficits? Is it about decision-making? In the capacity of a simulator as well as self-reported behaviors, we wanted to see if our data could get at the why of what is happening around driving behaviors.”

The research team began by recruiting 16- and 17-year-olds in Pennsylvania who had had their driver’s licenses no more than 90 days. At the outset, participants rated how closely numerous statements aligned with how they felt and thought. For example, one question assessing symptoms of ADHD asked if they had trouble keeping their mind on what people say. Another, about conduct disorder, asked if they bullied or threatened others.

Participants also completed a questionnaire about depressive symptoms and another about their driving behaviors on the road, such as tendency to speed, use of cell phones, and number of passengers they carried. In conjunction, parents assessed their child for ADHD symptoms and other mental-health problems.

“We know that about 5 percent of older adolescents meet criteria for ADHD, so we weren’t expecting too many in our sample to meet the threshold for diagnosis,” McDonald says. “For that reason, we looked at symptom measures instead. That gives us an idea of the severity of symptoms, even if they are not high enough to meet the criteria for a full diagnosis.”

Next, all participants completed an assessment in the driving simulator at CIRP. During the experimental drives, teens were exposed to different crash scenarios—a rear-end collision or a hidden hazard, for instance—avoidable if they drive safely. By the end of the simulated assessment, they had been presented with 21 potential crash situations. The researchers analyzed the simulator data on a variety of the participants’ actions, including how they behaved at stimulated stop signs, in which lane they drove, where they looked on the road, and how they applied the brake in potentially dangerous circumstances.

McDonald and colleagues noticed a clear link: The more inattention symptoms a teen reported, the more mistakes that driver made in the simulator. McDonald says knowing this offers a clear opening for health-care providers.

“Inattention was associated with more errors in the simulator, and self-reported symptoms of hyperactivity and conduct disorder were related to more self-reported risky driving behaviors,” she says. “This presents an opportunity to help intervene with patients and their families, to talk about the child’s whole health and mental well-being and how it might relate to driving behaviors.”

The researchers acknowledge several limitations to the work. For one, the study cohort was predominantly white and thus not representative of the young-driver population overall. Second, McDonald and colleagues didn’t seek out participants already diagnosed with disorders such as ADHD but rather assessed for symptoms once an adolescent agreed to participate. Finally, they could not measure all contributors to risky driving and performance errors. Some of these limitations McDonald says she hopes to mitigate in future research.

“We would like to learn more about the relationship of mental-health symptoms to driving behavior in a sample with higher rates and severity of ADHD,” McDonald says, “so we can examine the impact of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity symptom severity across the full range of these dimensions.”

That next step could help move the research toward its ultimate goal: tailoring interventions for teens drivers at risk in different ways.


Explore further:
Mental health issues linked to risky driving in newly licensed teens

More information:
Catherine C. McDonald et al, Simulated Driving Performance, Self-Reported Driving Behaviors, and Mental Health Symptoms in Adolescent Novice Drivers, Nursing Research (2018). DOI: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000270

Provided by:
University of Pennsylvania

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles