The theory of planned behavior (TPB) and texting while driving behavior in college students

<p><b>Objective</b>: To examine the role of intent and other theory of planned behavior (TPB) constructs in predicting college students' willingness to text while driving (TWD).</p> <p><b>Methods</b>: This was a cross-sectional study. 243 male and female college students enrolled in the 2013–2014 academic year in the College of Health, Human Services & Nursing completed a survey on TWD. Inclusion criteria: All races and ethnicities, ≥18 years of age, cell phone owner, and licensed driver.</p> <p><b>Results</b>: Over 70% of the sample (<i>n</i> = 243) reported talking on a cell phone and sending and receiving text messages “at least a few times” while driving within the past week. However, only 27% reported being stopped by police. Of these, 22% reported being fined. Within the past 30 days, 26% reported reading or sending TWD and having to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting another car or pedestrian(s) as a result. In all, 47% of the variance in <i>intention</i> to send TWD was accounted for by the full TPB model. Intention, in turn, predicted <i>willingness</i> to TWD. Intention also mediated the relationship between perceived behavioral control and willingness to TWD.</p> <p><b>Conclusion</b>: Attitude was found to be the strongest predictor of intention. In addition, intention was found to mediate the relationship of willingness to TWD on perceived behavioral control. These findings highlight potential factors that could be targeted in behavioral change interventions seeking to prevent TWD.</p>