Date of Award

Summer 8-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Eric Dahlen

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Emily Bullock Yowell

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Michael Madson

Committee Member 3 Department


Committee Member 4

James T. Johnson


Much of the literature on unsafe driving has focused on studying the role of single variables (e.g., driving anger, sensation seeking, etc.) and the degree to which they may increase one’s propensity to engage in aggressive or otherwise risky driving behavior. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that motor vehicle accidents and accident-related behavior are sufficiently complex as to require the use of multiple predictors. The current study examined the psychometric properties of the Driver Stress Profile (DSP; Larson, 1996), a brief self-report scale designed to assess four variables of interest in the driving literature. The DSP and measures of similar constructs were completed by 411 college student volunteers. Exploratory factor analysis suggested that the DSP could be enhanced through some relatively minor modifications to the subscales. Using a revised version of the DSP based on these analyses, the present study provided evidence of convergent and discriminant validity. Moreover, hierarchical multiple regressions demonstrated that the DSP predicted unsafe driving behavior and driving anger expression over and above respondent gender and average miles driven per week. The implications of these findings for future research and traffic safety efforts are discussed.