Chinese preschoolers’ risk-taking behaviors: a tripartite relation


Unintentional injury has been a leading threat to Chinese children. Children’s risk-taking is influenced by their evaluation of risky behavior and related safety knowledge, which also vary considerably by child and family characteristics. In light of the Health Belief Model, the current study (1) proposes and tests a tripartite relation among Chinese preschoolers’ safety knowledge, evaluations of risk, and risk-taking behavior; (2) examines how the tripartite relation varies by child, family, and residential characteristics. Preschooler–caregiver dyads (N = 217) completed questionnaires and interviews. The results confirmed the existence of the tripartite relation in Chinese preschoolers. Rural children, children with siblings, and those from families with low SES or high mobility, all demonstrated less safety knowledge, viewed risk-taking behaviors as unlikely to result in injury, and exhibited more risky behaviors. This study is the first to consider these issues in a sample of preschoolers. The findings suggest that preschool injury prevention programs should address preschoolers’ safety knowledge and evaluative skills along with those of their caregivers.

Publication Title

International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy