The association of self-regulation, habit, and mindfulness with texting while driving

Melanie M. Moore, Patricia M. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The saturation of mobile phones throughout Australia has led to some individuals being unable to regulate their use within situations that are inappropriate or risky. One of the most prevalent risky mobile phone use behaviours is texting while driving. Attempts to explain texting while driving suggest cognitive variables and personality characteristics are key factors. This study explored relationships between trait self-regulation, habitual text messaging, trait mindfulness, and texting while driving. One hundred and seventy participants comprising Australian undergraduate psychology students and members of the public completed an online survey measuring trait self-regulation, habitual text messaging behaviour, trait mindfulness, and frequency of texting while driving. It was found that habitual texting behaviour mediated the relationship between trait self-regulation and frequency of texting while driving. Additionally, trait mindfulness moderated the relationship between habit and texting while driving, such that habitual texting was significantly, positively related to texting while driving, but only for individuals with low to moderate trait mindfulness. These results suggest personality constructs related to attention, awareness, and control of behaviour play a significant role in counteracting the association that habitual texting behaviour has with the frequency of texting while driving. As these traits are considered malleable, this association may be applicable in future development of intervention programs aimed at increasing control over mobile phone use and reducing the frequency with which people text while driving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-28
Number of pages9
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


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