Predictors of children's risk appraisals

David DiLillo, Richard Potts, Susan Himes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This study explored variables associated with cognitive appraisals of physical risk in a sample of 62 elementary school children. Participants were presented with drawings of persons in three categories of risky situations typical of children, typical of adults, and typical of television plots. They were asked to judge the potential for physical injury in each. Results indicated that children tended to appraise risks in child, adult, and TV-plot risk situations differently, and that each type of situation was predicted by different variables. For the child situations, greater amounts of direct experience with the risk situation itself was found to be associated with lower risk appraisals. Appraisals of adult risk situations were predicted by age, with older children reporting lower risk appraisals. Sensation seeking, injury history, and weekday cartoon viewing all predicted lower risk appraisals of television situations. Implications of these findings for knowledge about the origins of childhood injury are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-427
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Predictors of children's risk appraisals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this