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Open AccessArticle

Advancing Environmental Health Literacy: Validated Scales of General Environmental Health and Environmental Media-Specific Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors

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Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
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Department of Biostatistics and Data Science, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4157; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214157
Received: 17 September 2019 / Revised: 17 October 2019 / Accepted: 24 October 2019 / Published: 28 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Environmental health literacy (EHL) involves understanding and using environmental information to make decisions about health. This study developed a validated survey instrument with four scales for assessing media-specific (i.e., air, food, water) and general EHL. The four scales were created as follows: 1) item generation: environmental health scientists and statisticians developed an initial set of items in three domains: knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors; 2) item review: items were reviewed for face validity; 3) validation: 174 public health students, the exploratory sample, and 98 community members, the test sample, validated the scales. The scales’ factor structure was based on exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and model fit was assessed through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). For each scale, the final EFA resulted in an independent three-factor solution for knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Good fit for the three-factor structure was observed. Model fit for CFA was generally confirmed with fit indices. The scales showed internal consistency with Cronbach’s alpha from 0.63 to 0.70. The 42-item instrument represents an important contribution towards assessing EHL and is designed to enable meaningful engagement between researchers and community members about environmental health. The intended outcome is sustained community–academic partnerships benefiting research design, implementation, translation, dissemination, and community action. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental health literacy; scale development; community–academic partnerships; water; food; air; knowledge; attitudes; behaviors environmental health literacy; scale development; community–academic partnerships; water; food; air; knowledge; attitudes; behaviors
MDPI and ACS Style

Lichtveld, M.Y.; Covert, H.H.; Sherman, M.; Shankar, A.; Wickliffe, J.K.; Alcala, C.S. Advancing Environmental Health Literacy: Validated Scales of General Environmental Health and Environmental Media-Specific Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4157.

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