Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Applied Developmental Psychology



Major Professor

Laird, Robert

Second Advisor

Scaramella, Laura

Third Advisor

Lamm, Connie


The implementation of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) policies has reduced the rate of car crashes among adolescents. However, limited research has focused on adolescents’ supervised driving during the learner permit stage of GDL. The study aimed to describe supervised driving practice during the learner permit stage and to test predictors of individual differences in the amount and the quality of supervised driving. 183 adolescents (M age = 16.4 years, 54.1% female) and their parents (84.1% mothers) participated. Adolescents reported driving an average of 25 minutes per day. Adolescents living in single-parent households, with less family income, and with a stronger motivation to drive reported more daily driving. Adolescents with a stronger motivation to drive reported driving in more settings. Discussion focuses on implications for developing effective driving-specific parenting strategies and helping to enrich adolescents’ supervised driving experiences.


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