A multi-site study on knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practice of child-dog interactions in rural China

Academic Article


  • This study examines demographic, cognitive and behavioral factors that predict pediatric dog-bite injury risk in rural China. A total of 1,537 children (grades 4-6) in rural regions of Anhui, Hebei and Zhejiang Provinces, China completed self-report questionnaires assessing beliefs about and behaviors with dogs. The results showed that almost 30% of children reported a history of dog bites. Children answered 56% of dog-safety knowledge items correctly. Regressions revealed both demographic and cognitive/behavioral factors predicted children's risky interactions with dogs and dog-bite history. Boys behaved more riskily with dogs and were more frequently bitten. Older children reported greater risks with dogs and more bites. With demographics controlled, attitudes/beliefs of invulnerability, exposure frequency, and dog ownership predicted children's self-reported risky practice with dogs. Attitudes/beliefs of invulnerability, dog exposure, and dog ownership predicted dog bites. In conclusion, both demographic and cognitive/behavioral factors influenced rural Chinese children's dog-bite injury risk. Theory-based, empirically-supported intervention programs might reduce dog-bite injuries in rural China. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Shen J; Li S; Xiang H; Pang S; Xu G; Schwebel DC
  • Start Page

  • 950
  • End Page

  • 962
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 3