247713 Predictors of environmental health protective actions

Monday, October 31, 2011: 11:30 AM

Jane K. Dixon, PhD , School of Nursing, Yale University, New Haven, CT
John P. Dixon, PhD , New Haven Green Fund, Woodbridge, CT
Karrie C. Hendrickson, RN, PhD , School of Nursing, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Elizabeth Ercolano, RN, MSN, DNSc , School of Nursing, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Background: Health effects of environmental health hazards may be reduced by actions which people take to either reduce source hazards (e.g., pressuring neighborhood polluters) or to limit exposures (e.g., covering lead paint). This presentation analyzes predictors of environmental health actions in a community sample. Method: A cross-sectional survey (n=433) was conducted in a community with diverse environmental health hazards. Measures included five indicators derived from the Environmental Health Engagement Profile (Pollution Sensitivity Scale, Pollution-Causes-Illness Scale, Pollution Acceptance Scale, Personal Environmental Action Scale, and Community Environmental Action Scale), as well as measures of Goodness of Life, Interpersonal Bonding and Community Involvements. The scales measuring personal and community action were combined into a Total Environmental Action Scale, which was then used as the dependent variable in regression analysis, with independent variables entered via four, theoretically determined, steps. Results: The regression equation identified five variables as significant predictors of Total Environmental Action—Pollution-Causes-Illness Scale (t=9.3, p<.001), Pollution Acceptance Scale (t=-3.3, p, <.01), Goodness of Life Scale (t=4.5, p<.001), Interpersonal Bonding Scale (t=2.5, p<.05), and Community Involvement Scale (t=5.6, p<.001). Pollution Sensitivity Scale, which reflects awareness of environmental health issues in one's neighborhood, was entered first (based on theory), but was no longer a significant predictor, once other variables were entered. Discussion: Results indicate that tendency to take action varies with personal characteristics, including assumptions about pollution and health, an optimistic life perspective, and connections to others. These findings may inform design of nursing and other public health interventions for promoting environmental health.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe characteristics which predict actions to promote environmental health 2) Discuss features of interventions for maximizing environmental health

Keywords: Environmental Health, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I do research on environmental health behviors and I teach research methods to graduate students in nursing.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.