Developing a scale to understand willingness to sacrifice personal safety for companion animals: The Pet-Owner Risk Propensity Scale (PORPS)

Joshua Trigg, Bradley Smith, Pauleen Bennett, Kirrilly Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Multiple factors motivate people to risk their safety for companion animals during disasters. Often, this entails people re-entering dangerous areas, delaying evacuation, and risking personal harm to protect animals. Importantly, the intensity of this behaviour varies between individuals, with the capacity to take risk-mitigating actions also limited by self-efficacy when managing companion animals under threatening conditions. As these two factors have received little attention, this study presents the construction, through principal components analysis, of a stable 24-item multidimensional scale measuring the potential intensity and perceived efficacy of pet-directed actions during disasters: the Pet-Owner Risk Propensity Scale. The initial 64-item pool derived from first-person bushfire accounts of Australian companion-animal owners. Items were then administered to Australian companion-animal owners living in disaster-susceptible locations (n=553). Preliminary findings support its validity, reliability, and utility in understanding companion-animal owners’ risk-taking propensity, which may help predict and avoid harmful outcomes for people and their animals during disasters, both in Australia and elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-212
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Volume21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bushfire
  • Companion animals
  • Disaster
  • Pets
  • Risk propensity
  • Risk taking

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