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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1923-1935; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061923
Article

The Pesticide Risk Beliefs Inventory: A Quantitative Instrument for the Assessment of Beliefs about Pesticide Risks

1,2,* , 2
 and 1
1 Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, North Carolina State University, Box 7633, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA 2 Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education, North Carolina State University, Box 7801, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 March 2011 / Revised: 24 May 2011 / Accepted: 25 May 2011 / Published: 1 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)
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Abstract

Recent media attention has focused on the risks that agricultural pesticides pose to the environment and human health; thus, these topics provide focal areas for scientists and science educators to enhance public understanding of basic toxicology concepts. This study details the development of a quantitative inventory to gauge pesticide risk beliefs. The goal of the inventory was to characterize misconceptions and knowledge gaps, as well as expert-like beliefs, concerning pesticide risk. This study describes the development and field testing of the Pesticide Risk Beliefs Inventory with an important target audience: pesticide educators in a southeastern U.S. state. The 19-item, Likert-type inventory was found to be psychometrically sound with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.780 and to be a valuable tool in capturing pesticide educators’ beliefs about pesticide risk, assessing beliefs in four key categories. The Pesticide Risk Beliefs Inventory could be useful in exploring beliefs about pesticide risks and in guiding efforts to address misconceptions held by a variety of formal and informal science learners, educators, practitioners, the agricultural labor force, and the general public.
Keywords: pesticides; risk communication; pesticide education; science education; inventory pesticides; risk communication; pesticide education; science education; inventory
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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LePrevost, C.E.; Blanchard, M.R.; Cope, W.G. The Pesticide Risk Beliefs Inventory: A Quantitative Instrument for the Assessment of Beliefs about Pesticide Risks. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 1923-1935.

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