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Examining the Effectiveness of Climate Change Communication with Adolescents in Vietnam: The Role of Message Congruency

1
Research Centre for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change, Asian Management and Development Institute, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam
2
Centre for Integrative Development, Chairgroup Strategic Communication, Sub-Department Communication, Philosophy, and Technology, Wageningen University, 6700 EW Wageningen, The Netherlands
3
Agricultural and Food Policy Group, Thaer Institute for Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 10099 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(11), 3016; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113016
Received: 18 July 2020 / Revised: 14 October 2020 / Accepted: 19 October 2020 / Published: 27 October 2020
Climate change makes coastal communities more vulnerable to floods associated with storm surges and sea level rise, requiring both adaptation and mitigation measures. Moreover, proper understanding of flood risks and their potential impacts on climate change appears to be a communication challenge. In climate change communication, the effect of framing congruency on perception of risk, efficacy and behavioural intentions towards climate change adaptation and mitigation has received limited attention. Messages have not been congruent in framing risks associated with climate change. We define congruency as the coherent alignment of several aspects of message content. Messages are considered congruent when they provide recipients with consistent contents such as giving concrete and actionable advice, or by providing more abstract and general background information. This research focuses on climate change communication in fostering mitigation behaviours among adolescents in vulnerable locations in the global South. Based on Construal Level Theory, this paper investigates how message congruency affects the link between perceptions of climate change risk and efficacy and two predictors of behavioural change: perceived responsibility and mitigation intentions. We conducted an experiment to test the effect of congruent vs. incongruent risk communication among adolescents in highly vulnerable coastal communities in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam (N = 348). Multiple regression analysis found strong effects of congruency in message framing; when messages were congruent in the content, communicative interventions changed adolescents’ perceptions and attitudes toward climate change mitigation more consistently. This research contributes both theoretically and practically to risk communication among adolescents and toward climate change mitigation behaviour. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; risk communication; message framing; construal level; adolescents climate change; risk communication; message framing; construal level; adolescents
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ngo, C.C.; Poortvliet, P.M.; Feindt, P.H. Examining the Effectiveness of Climate Change Communication with Adolescents in Vietnam: The Role of Message Congruency. Water 2020, 12, 3016. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113016

AMA Style

Ngo CC, Poortvliet PM, Feindt PH. Examining the Effectiveness of Climate Change Communication with Adolescents in Vietnam: The Role of Message Congruency. Water. 2020; 12(11):3016. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113016

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ngo, Chinh C.; Poortvliet, P. M.; Feindt, Peter H. 2020. "Examining the Effectiveness of Climate Change Communication with Adolescents in Vietnam: The Role of Message Congruency" Water 12, no. 11: 3016. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113016

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