Research Supporting the Video

The following research was conducted on the original video completed in 2006. The new video is a modernized version that retains key theory-driven content from the original video.

Boost ’em in the Back Seat: A Safe Ride Program
Summary of Results

A complete report of this research is published in Accident Analysis and Prevention (Will, Sabo, & Porter, 2009). The main findings are summarized here. With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (New Investigator Grant # 1 R49 CE000240-01), Dr. Kelli England Will’s research team at Eastern Virginia Medical School created and tested a 6-minute video-intervention entitled Boost ’em in the Back Seat that used a threat appeal approach.


Recent research supports the use of high-threat messages when they are targeted appropriately and designed to promote high efficacy as well as fear. This research examined the effectiveness of using a novel threat-appeal approach to encourage parents to place their children in booster seats and rear seats of vehicles.


A 4-minute video-intervention was created and evaluated at after-school/daycare centers via an interrupted time series design with similar control sites for comparison. Caregivers (N = 226) completed knowledge and practice surveys and fear and efficacy estimations related to childhood motor vehicle hazards. Researchers observed booster-seat and rear-seat use in study site parking lots.


Compared to baseline and control assessments, the treatment groups’ child passenger safety knowledge, risk-reduction attitudes, behavioral intentions, sense of fear related to the hazard, and sense of efficacy related to the recommended behaviors increased significantly. Further, observed overall restraint use and booster-seat use increased significantly following the intervention.


Applying high-threat messages to child passenger safety interventions is promising and has the potential to be adapted to other health risk areas.

For the Complete Report of the Study:

Will, K. E., Sabo, C. S., & Porter, B. E. (2009). Evaluation of the Boost ’em in the Back Seat Program: Using fear and efficacy to increase booster seat use. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 41, 57-65.
Download PDF or visit doi:10.1016/j.aap.2008.09.007.

Suggested Video Use

Caregivers of booster-aged children are a particularly difficult population to reach because they often do not consider their children to be of “safety seat” age.  Therefore, they don’t typically attend safety-seat checkup events. Nor do they view booster seat videos, websites, or brochures on their own. For this reason, we try (when possible) to find ways to show the video to parents rather than just giving them a copy.

The Boost ’em in the Back Seat Video can be best utilized and shown to parents by partnering with professionals who regularly interact with parents of 5-12 year-old children.

For example, previous partner sites have opted to show the video during the wait-times (in the main waiting area or in exam rooms) at healthcare agencies. Other partners have incorporated the video into their safety trainings for professionals and/or parents. Hospital partners have integrated the video into the closed feed so that the video can be delivered with other health television programs and be shown to patients during hospital stays.

See our related publication regarding dissemination of the video: Will, K. E., Dunaway, K. E., Kokorelis, D., Sabo, C. S., & Lorek, E. (2012). Challenges and Opportunities for Promoting Booster-Seat Use: Progressive Dissemination of a High-Threat Message. Health Promotion Practice, 13 (6), 772-778. (doi:10.1177/1524839910393279)