Exploring stakeholders’ attitudes and beliefs regarding behaviors that prevent the spread of invasive species

TitleExploring stakeholders’ attitudes and beliefs regarding behaviors that prevent the spread of invasive species
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsPrinbeck, G, Lach, D, Chan, S
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
Pagination341 - 352
Date Published2011/06/01/
ISBN Number1350-4622
Keywordsattitude, barriers, behavior change, belief, education, focus groups, invasive species, norm, prevention, Theory of Planned Behavior
AbstractThe Theory of Planned Behavior was used as a framework for investigating recreationists’ attitudes, subjective norms, and behavioral control beliefs pertaining to behaviors that reduce the spread of invasive species. A series of focus groups comprised of gardeners, fishers, hunters, and boaters was convened in Oregon, USA. Findings indicate six belief barriers to changing leisure behaviors. These are the attitudes that: (1) behaviors, such as using pesticides, may be worse for the environment than invasive species; and (2) the fight against invasive species is a losing battle. Also, the norm beliefs that: (3) invasive species management is a low priority for many institutions; and (4) the general public does not know and does not care about invasive species. Finally, the behavioral control beliefs that: (5) one does not know enough about invasive species preventive behaviors to be effective; and (6) recommended preventive behaviors are too difficult to perform. Understanding the beliefs that inhibit behavior changes can help inform the creation of effective campaigns to engage stakeholders in finding solutions to halt the spread of invasive species, as well as provide a foundation on which to build additional research. Findings suggest that the first steps to overcoming these belief barriers include developing targeted education and communication to influence existing norms and beliefs.