Retest of a Principal Components Analysis of Two Household Environmental Risk Instruments

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Abstract

Household Risk Perception (HRP) and Self-Efficacy in Environmental Risk Reduction (SEERR) instruments were developed for a public health nurse-delivered intervention designed to reduce home-based, environmental health risks among rural, low-income families. The purpose of this study was to test both instruments in a second low-income population that differed geographically and economically from the original sample. Participants (N = 199) were recruited from the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. Paper and pencil surveys were collected at WIC sites by research-trained student nurses. Exploratory principal components analysis (PCA) was conducted, and comparisons were made to the original PCA for the purpose of data reduction. Instruments showed satisfactory Cronbach alpha values for all components. HRP components were reduced from five to four, which explained 70% of variance. The components were labeled sensed risks, unseen risks, severity of risks, and knowledge. In contrast to the original testing, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) items was not a separate component of the HRP. The SEERR analysis demonstrated four components explaining 71% of variance, with similar patterns of items as in the first study, including a component on ETS, but some differences in item location. Although low-income populations constituted both samples, differences in demographics and risk exposures may have played a role in component and item locations. Findings provided justification for changing or reducing items, and for tailoring the instruments to population-level risks and behaviors. Although analytic refinement will continue, both instruments advance the measurement of environmental health risk perception and self-efficacy. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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