Measuring Spatial Associations between Environmental Health and Beliefs about Environmental Governance

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Research has shown an increasing trend in attempts to integrate social and ecological data that use indicators to improve quality of life. This includes understanding people's beliefs about environmental governance. Understanding patterns in beliefs of environmental governance can be a powerful way to help policy makers take informed actions that meet individuals' needs and expectations. This study examines connections between spatial patterns of beliefs about environmental governance and the health of the environment where people live, measured from both a public health and ecological perspective. Data on people's beliefs about environmental governance were collected in the Puget Sound area of Washington state. Environmental health data include environmental public health disparities including effects and exposures, bird diversity, and tree cover. Results indicate local scale heterogeneity exists within the Puget Sound region. Using AIC model selection, there was strong evidence for effects of canopy cover, environmental effects and exposures, and years of residency, and moderate to strong evidence for the effects on beliefs about environmental governance of race and sex. There was little support for effects of political ideology, income, age, education, or bird diversity. The Akaike Information Criteria (AIC) top model included a negative effect of canopy cover, years of residency, race (i.e., of being non-white), and sex (i.e., of being male), and a positive effect of environmental effects and of environmental exposures. Relating data on environmental health and beliefs about environmental governance generates a more nuanced understanding of determinants of environmental governance success and public support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1038-1050
JournalEnvironmental Management
Early online date22 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
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