How Do You Feel about Driving? Development of the Scale for Apprehensive Driving to Measure Driving-Related Attitudes in Novice Drivers
Objectives: The aim of the present study was to develop a parent questionnaire measuring their child’s attitudes towards driving, allowing to compare whether novice drivers with ASD are more apprehensive towards driving than a control group.
Methods: The 18-item (1-4 answering category) Scale for Apprehensive Driving (SAD), to be filled in by parents, was developed to measure positive and negative attitudes towards driving during three phases: ‘thinking about driving’, ‘preparing to drive’, and ‘while driving’. Considering that emotions can be expressed cognitively, behaviorally and physically, questions were developed to tap each dimension. The questionnaire was completed by a group of parents of novice drivers (age range= 15-24), who earned their learners permit, without (n= 98) and with ASD (n= 66). Reliability analyses were executed per group, after which a 2x2 ANOVA (Valence: total positive, total negative; Group: control, ASD) was conducted to determine whether the ASD group reported more negative attitudes compared to the control group.
Results: Correlations between positive and negative items showed the expected direction for both the control (r= -.39, p= .00) and the ASD (r= -.65, p= .00) group. Furthermore, the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was also high for both the control (α= .85) and the ASD (α= .90) group. A significant interaction effect of Valence*Group (F= 92.58, p= .00, η2p= .20) indicated a difference in the reported attitudes between the control and ASD group. Further analyses, indicated that the control group reported more positive attitudes (F= 203.16, p= .00, η2p= .68, µPos= 18.67, µNeg= 7.00), while the ASD group reported more negative attitudes (F=3.71, p= .00, η2p= .058, µPos= 10.73, µNeg=13.30).
Conclusions: The results showed that the ASD group was less positive towards driving when compared to a control group. As driving apprehension could pose an important barrier for driving independently, future research should take this factor into account.