Cross-Cultural and Site-Based Influences on Demographic, Well-being, and Social Network Predictors of Risk Perception in Hazard and Disaster Settings in Ecuador and Mexico

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Eric C. Jones, Research Scientist (Creator)
Arthur D. Murphy, Professor and Department Head (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Although virtually all comparative research about risk perception focuses on which hazards are of concern to people in different culture groups, much can be gained by focusing on predictors of levels of risk perception in various countries and places. In this case, we examine standard and novel predictors of risk perception in seven sites among communities affected by a flood in Mexico (one site) and volcanic eruptions in Mexico (one site) and Ecuador (five sites). We conducted more than 450 interviews with questions about how people feel at the time (after the disaster) regarding what happened in the past, their current concerns, and their expectations for the future. We explore how aspects of the context in which people live have an effect on how strongly people perceive natural hazards in relationship with demographic, well-being, and social network factors. Generally, our research indicates that levels of risk perception for past, present, and future aspects of a specific hazard are similar across these two countries and seven sites. However, these contexts produced different predictors of risk perception—in other words, there was little overlap between sites in the variables that predicted the past, present, or future aspects of risk perception in each site. Generally, current stress was related to perception of past danger of an event in the Mexican sites, but not in Ecuador; network variables were mainly important for perception of past danger (rather than future or present danger), although specific network correlates varied from site to site across the countries.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
risk perception, disasters, emergency response, resettlement, Latin America, cross-cultural influence, human nature

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