Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Sociology/Criminal Justice

Committee Director

Mona J. E. Danner

Committee Member

Randy Gainey

Committee Member

Bryan E. Porter


The consequences of texting and driving have never been more pertinent concerns than they are presently. As reports of injuries and death increase and are paralleled by direct and indirect emotional and financial costs, it is important to uncover why, even in the face of such escalations, individuals choose to engage in this behavior. This study examines texting while driving behavior in the context of self-control theory and postulates that low self-control is a significant predictor of the conduct.

An online questionnaire was distributed via email to all enrolled students at Old Dominion University, located in Norfolk Virginia, during the summer of 2014. Data were collected which tapped into student's texting while driving behaviors, measured their respective levels of self-control, and ascertained demographical information. Results of the analysis indicated that self-control was a not significant predictor of texting while driving behavior when controlling for other factors. Suggestions for future research and limitations of this study are discussed.