The initial concept of flood control has gradually shifted to flood risk management which emphasizes more public participation. Therefore, understanding the public’s protective coping behavioral patterns to floods is significant, and can help improve the effectiveness of public participation and implementation of flood-mitigation measures. However, the quantitative effect of socio-demographic factors on flood risk perception and behaviors is not clear. In this study, the socio-demographic factors are included to explore the quantitative relationship with and the affect path to flood protective coping behaviors with socio-demographic factors are studied. Shenzhen City in China is chosen as the study area, which suffers frequent urban floods every year. Questionnaire surveys are conducted in five flood-prone communities there, and 339 valid questionnaires were collected. The correlations between flood risk perception, flood risk knowledge, flood risk attitude, socio-demographic factors, and protective coping behaviors are analyzed firstly. A structural equation model (SEM) about these factors is then established to verify the correctness of hypothetical paths and discover new paths. The results indicates that socio-demographic factors and flood risk perception do not have impacts on protective coping behaviors directly, but are mediated by flood risk knowledge and flood risk attitude. Flood risk attitude is an important factor that affects protective coping behaviors directly. Moreover, two affect paths to flood protective coping behaviors are proposed. The findings of Shenzhen city in this study can be extended to other cities with similar characteristics, providing support for conducting effective flood mitigation measures.
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