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Fire-safety at home and self-reliance of older adults

Eendebak, W.A. (2019) Fire-safety at home and self-reliance of older adults.

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Abstract:Because of psychological or physical impairments, older adults form a vulnerable group regarding residential fire. This results in the fact that older adults are more often a victim of fire than other age groups. Because older adults live independently longer, they are expected to prepare for residential fire themselves. The research question is: ‘How self-reliant are older adults regarding residential fire and what influences the degree of self-reliance?’ Based on the Protection Motivation Theory and other literature several factors are identified and analyzed that are possibly related with self-reliant behavior regarding residential fire. Via a survey, adults of 65 years and older are asked about their opinions and their actual behavior regarding fire prevention and preparation. Results indicate that the perception of their own abilities predict whether older adults take preventive measures and prepare for residential fire. Other results indicate that perceived knowledge, perceived response-efficacy and perceived selfefficacy are positively related to self-reliant behavior, which means that with a high perception of knowledge, response efficacy and self-efficacy, highly self-reliant behavior can be expected. There are several reasons why older adults might not prepare for fire, for example protective response costs, which are negatively related to self-reliant behavior. More research is needed to use these results for effective risk communication toward older adults. Future research could also focus on the influence of other factors, such as previous experiences with residential fire or the influence of family and friends.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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