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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2215; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102215

The Theory of Planned Behavior to Predict Protective Behavioral Intentions against PM2.5 in Parents of Young Children from Urban and Rural Beijing, China

1
Department of Health Promotion and Health Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
2
Graduate Institute of Environmental Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei 116, Taiwan
3
School of Management and Enterprise, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD 4350, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 3 October 2018 / Accepted: 7 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Air Pollution and the Outdoor Urban Environment)
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Abstract

Smog and air pollution have fast become significant environmental problems and are attributed to rapid global industrialization and urbanization. Emissions of fine particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5) increase smog and air pollution, with strong impacts on human health. Children are particularly vulnerable. While increasing studies are being conducted on the behaviors leading to PM2.5 toxicity from the perspective of environmental toxicants, there is a lack of research on factors influencing anti-PM2.5 behavioral intentions. Thus, this study aims to narrow this gap by adapting the theory of planned behavior framework to investigate the effects of attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control on protective behavioral intentions against PM2.5. In total, 1277 online questionnaires were collected from parents of young children living in urban and rural areas of Beijing, and the data was analyzed using correlation, regression, and path analyses. Results revealed that there were significant differences between parents from urban and rural areas in terms of attitude (t = 4.727 > 1.96, p < 0.001), subjective norms (t = 5.529 > 1.96, p < 0.001), perceived behavioral control (t = 6.155 > 1.96, p < 0.001), and anti-PM2.5 behavioral intentions (t = 6.838 > 1.96, p < 0.001). Path analysis revealed that parents from urban and rural areas had different behavioral intention paths. For urban parents, the findings indicated that subjective norms (β = 0.73, t = 21.84 > 3.29) and perceived behavioral control (γ = 0.22, t = 6.12 > 3.29) had direct impacts on anti-PM2.5 behavioral intentions. In contrast, the attitudes (γ = 0.39, t = 3.74 > 3.29) and subjective norms (β = 0.60, t = 8.55 > 3.29) of rural parents were found to directly influence anti-PM2.5 behavioral intentions. View Full-Text
Keywords: theory of planned behavior; anti-PM2.5 behavioral intention; young children’s parents; rural and urban areas theory of planned behavior; anti-PM2.5 behavioral intention; young children’s parents; rural and urban areas
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Liu, S.; Chiang, Y.-T.; Tseng, C.-C.; Ng, E.; Yeh, G.-L.; Fang, W.-T. The Theory of Planned Behavior to Predict Protective Behavioral Intentions against PM2.5 in Parents of Young Children from Urban and Rural Beijing, China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2215.

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