Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr Alan Salmoni


This qualitative study targeted a heterogeneous sample of 9 to 12 year olds in the London, Ontario, Canada area. The purpose of this study was to understand children's’s perspectives in regards to bicycle safety and risk perception. Gender differences of these perceptions were compared. Five semi-structured focus groups (n=14, 10 boys and 4 girls) and six interviews (n=6, 3 boys and 3 girls) were conducted (n=23; 16 boys and 7 girls). Ongoing thematic analysis was used during data collection to review and interpret the collected discussions. As a result, this study determined that girls take fewer unnecessary risks and are more affected by fear appeal and safety-related messages being delivered by a role model. Alternatively, boys are much more inclined to ignore the warnings and take a risk if there is potential to have fun. Boys seem more affected by an entertaining message delivered by a credible source, emphasizing the possibility to learn how to better ride a bicycle, without mention of safety. In conclusion, a social marketing campaign for children’s bicycle safety training that differs for boys and girls is suggested.