Current Content
Volume 38 - Number 2
March - April 2012

Optimism Bias and Parental Views on Unintentional Injuries and Safety: Improving Anticipatory Guidance in Early Childhood
Paula Patricia Rosales and Patricia L. Jackson Allen

The purpose of this integrative literature review is to improve anticipatory guidance in early childhood by reviewing the influence of optimism bias on parents' views about safety and beliefs about their children's risk for unintentional injuries. This article reviews the theory of optimism bias and recent research utilizing optimism bias to explain parental health-related behaviors. The three articles in this literature review find a link between optimism bias and parents' failure to implement safety behaviors. Currently, there is no tool to measure a parent's level of optimism bias concerning the risk of unintentional injury to his or her child. It is important for primary care providers to try and identify optimism bias in parents and address it as a barrier to implementation of safety recommendations. More research should be dedicated to developing screening tools to identify optimism bias in parents and interventions to help them accept their children's vulnerability.