Mental Health and Helmet Behaviours. By Chantell Aduaka and Diellza Nishori

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1 Mental Health and Helmet Behaviours By Chantell Aduaka and Diellza Nishori

2 Child mental health Child mental health is very important, 10% of British children have one or more mental health disorders (Ford, 2003) Mental health disorders can be split into two categories: Emotional: Depression, anxiety, phobias Internalising mental health problems (4.5% prevalence) Behavioural: Aggressiveness and/or antisocial Hyperactivity: Restlessness, inattention and impulsiveness. Externalising mental health problems (5.9% prevalence) And 2.5% of the children had other mental disorders or not otherwise specified disorders 2

3 Injuries in Children Children with mental health problems have a higher risk of accidental injuries. o 1999 British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Survey, a nationally representative sample of 10,000 children aged 5-15 years (Rowe et al, 2004) A large proportion of child injuries are associated with road traffic Children aged 10 to 15 years are more at risk of being involved in collisions while cycling than other age groups (Department for Transport, 2009) Wearing a helmet is controversial topic as many people have different viewpoints regarding the safety and the practicality of them. However most people think children should wear them. 3

4 Research Questions Does mental health predict attitudes and behaviours towards helmets? Is there a difference between internalising and externalising mental health problems in this respect? 4

5 Methods Health Survey for England, Nationally representative sample Total size of the sample aged 8 to 12 years old = 6,194 (50.8% boys) 5

6 Methods Questions surveyed 8 to 12 year olds: 1. Age 2. Gender 3. Parent reported child mental health (SDQ) Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a brief measure of Psychological well-being containing 25 questions to provide a rough idea of the mental health of 2-17 year olds. Children were categorised by splitting the SDQ into low, medium and high risk for mental health problems, using standard cut-off points 4. 8 Questions about behaviours and attitudes towards helmets 6

7 Behaviours And Attitudes towards Helmets 1. Wear a bicycle helmet when riding 2. I sometimes forget to put my helmet on Behaviour 3. Wearing a helmet, makes me feel safer when I ride a bike 4. Helmets can protect you if you have an accident Safety Attitudes 5. It is difficult to get helmets to fit 6. Bicycle helmets cost too much money Practicalities 7. Helmets look good 8. Wearing a helmet, makes me feel like a proper cyclist Appearance 7

8 X Four Statements Were Linked To Mental Health 1. Wear a bicycle helmet when riding 2. I sometimes forget to put my helmet on Behaviour 3. Wearing a helmet makes me feel safer when I ride a bike 4. Helmets can protect you if you have an accident We then split between internalising and externalising problems and they will be shown in the following graphs. Safety Attitudes X 5. It is difficult to get helmets to fit 6. Bicycle helmets cost too much money Practicalities X X 7. Helmets look good 8. Wearing a helmet makes me feel like a proper cyclist Appearance The ticks show the questions that showed significance when compared to total mental health difficulties, which we found out using a chisquared test. 8

9 Percentage of Respondents (%) Internalising shows a slightly higher difference. 1. Not wearing a Helmet When Cycling: Not much difference between internalising and externalising problems. 60 Don t wear a helmet when cycling Low Medium High Risk of Mental Health problems Internalising problems Externalising problems

10 Percentage of Respondents (%) 2+3. Safety Attitudes: Not much difference between Internalising and Externalising problems. A Helmet Doesn't Make Them Feel Safe 60 Helmet Doesn't Provide Protection Low Medium High Risk of Mental Health problems Internalising problems Externalising problems 0 Low Medium High Risk of Mental Health problems Internalising problems Externalising problems

11 Percentage of Respondents (%) Externalising shows a stronger difference Helmet costs too much: Externalising problems show a slightly stronger relationship than Internalising Helmet costs too much Low Medium High Risk of Mental Health Problems Internalising problems Externalising problems

12 Summary Children at high risk of mental health problems showed a worse attitude to cycling in terms of the idea that helmets cost too much, whether they increase safety and whether a helmet is worn at all. Internalising and externalising child mental health problems were generally similar, although externalising showed a slightly stronger association with cost. Children with mental health problems may be at higher risk of having a cycling accident due to not wearing a helmet. This may imply that they particularly need cycle training.

13 Discussion Limitations The categories of mental health were quite broad (i.e. internalising and externalising problems), to overcome this we could look at specific mental health problems (e.g. depression, anxiety) to see if a similar trend would be replicated The data only includes 8-12 year olds which means teenagers are excluded The data is fairly old ( ). Directions for future research Investigate more helmet and cycling behaviours (e.g. Indicating, Neon bike gear) Link helmet and cycling behaviours to risk of injuries (e.g. Not wearing a helmet). 13

14 Thank you for listening!

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