UNDERSTANDING ENGAGEMENT AS A PREREQUISITE TO THE PROTECTIVE ACTION DECISION-MAKING PROCESS: AN APPLICATION OF LIFE COURSE THEORY

Date
2020-05
Authors
Stock, Alexia
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Delaware
Abstract
The cost of natural disasters such as hurricanes is rising in the United States. Homeowners can make a pivotal difference in this challenge by taking protective actions to mitigate risk, but protective action adoption rates are low and difficult to predict accurately. We hypothesize that to better understand the protective action decision-making process, research must first understand engagement as a prerequisite to this process. Using survey data from a sample of homeowners in Eastern North Carolina and Life Course Theory (LCT) as a framework for analysis, we found that 20-35% of homeowners reported they never consider their options to take protective action. An analysis of a few logistic regression models were conducted to understand if certain types of homeowners are more likely to be unengaged than others. To understand what may trigger homeowner engagement, we evaluated the commonness and influence of ten life experiences under the LCT premise that throughout their life course, a person’s likelihood to engage with an opportunity will vary and change after encountering pivotal experiences, or turning points. We found these experiences had varying levels of influence over engagement. Some of the experiences with the most potential to influence engagement lay outside of the cycle of natural disaster, serving as excellent points for proactive interventions. Overall, this application of LCT is limited, but serves as a promising, preliminary step towards better understanding engagement in protective action decision-making.
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Keywords
civil engineering, engagement, protective action decision making
Citation