Factors influencing the decision to engage in alcohol-impaired driving among Arab-Israeli youths

Wafa Elias, Shiran Bord, Orna Baron-Epel, Anat Gesser-Edelsburg, Yoram Shiftan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alcohol-Impaired Driving (AID) is rarely studied among Arab communities. As contacts between Arab and Western cultures grow, alcohol consumption and safety-related issues are emerging as a major public health concern. This paper examines factors influencing the decision to engage in AID in a sample of young Arab-Israeli bar patrons (n = 300, age 17–34), including both Muslims (n = 77) and Christians (n = 176); alcohol is prohibited for the former, but is normative for the latter. Studies of AID often use agent-oriented models, most notably the theory of planned behavior (TPB). The current study complements this tradition using the structure-oriented Social-Cultural (SC) model. Over 70% of participants reported engaging in AID after consuming 3–4 portions of alcohol. The TPB model proved to have significant explanatory power while most cultural factors, including religion, failed to gain statistical significance. The latter finding is counter-intuitive given the different status of alcohol in the cultures investigated. The TPB variable Personal Behavioral Control (PBC) and a specific sub-component of the subjective norms variable emerged as providing the greatest contribution to the model. The results support the robustness of TPB and demonstrate that beyond identifying idiosyncratic patterns structure-based models can be useful in refuting pre-conceived conceptions. Thus, both approaches should be utilized to inform policymaking. Governmental authorities, particularly in Israel, must consider the neglected issue of AID among Arab communities, including both Christians and Muslims.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-191
Number of pages12
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • Alcohol impaired driving
  • Gender
  • Personal behavioral control
  • Religion
  • Youths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Applied Psychology


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