Social Influence in Impaired Driving: An Exploration in Alberta, Canada

By Abu Sadat Nurullah.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Social influence is the internal and external social-psychological pressure resulting in performance of certain behavior in different context. This study explored the social influence theory in explaining alcohol-impaired driving among a representative sample of adults in Alberta, Canada. Data for the current study came from the Annual Alberta Survey 2009. Information on drinking and driving habit in the past 12 months, social influence in impaired driving, and socio-demographic factors in impaired driving behavior, was collected through computer assisted telephone interviews (CATI) from 1,211 respondents across Alberta. Results indicated that in the past 12 months, 4% of the respondents had driven a vehicle while impaired, and 6.1% of the respondents had been passengers in a vehicle driven by an impaired driver. Chi-square test indicated that male, single, employed, non-religious, and younger respondents were more likely to have driven while impaired. Logistic regression analyses showed that a one-unit increase in social influence was associated with 5.78 times greater odds of engaging in impaired driving (OR = 5.78, 95% CI = 3.26–10.25, p < .001), controlling for other variables in the model. In addition, the interaction effect indicated that males with higher mean scores in social influence in alcohol consumption scale were slightly more likely to report driving while impaired, compared to females. The current study contributes to the ecological approach by investigating contextual (i.e., social influence) factor that affect people’s drinking and driving behavior. Based on the findings, possible intervention strategies are suggested to reduce impaired driving in Alberta.

Keywords: Social Influence, Impaired Driving, Gender Difference, Canada

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.447-464. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 718.895KB).

Abu Sadat Nurullah

Graduate Student, Department of Sociology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Abu Sadat Nurullah is currently a Graduate Student in the Department of Sociology at University of Alberta, Canada. His areas of research include Social Problems, Sociology of Culture and Religion, Sociology of Youth and Identity, and Social Psychology. He has published in a broad range of academic journals and presented papers at both national and international conferences.

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