International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction ( IF 2.896 ) Pub Date : 2020-07-28 , DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101771 Alexandra Stancu; Silvia Ariccio; Stefano De Dominicis; Uberta Ganucci Cancellieri; Irene Petruccelli; Corina Ilin; Marino Bonaiuto
The general aim is to advance the understanding of the role of both place attachment intensity and place attachment styles for adaptive coping strategies with flood risk. Place attachment styles are operationalized as secure, preoccupied, and fearful-avoidant. Risk coping strategies are conceptualized as emotional (i.e., distress), and behavioral coping strategies (i.e., positive, negative, and avoidant).
Two main cross-sectional studies were conducted in both high and low-risk areas: one study in Italy (N = 100) and one study in Romania (N = 391). The first study aims to test the moderating effect of place attachment intensity and place attachment styles both on the relation between perception of risk and distress; and on the relation between perception of risk and positive, avoidant and negative behavioral coping. The second study tests the effects of place attachment styles on the relation between the objective risk level and both emotional and behavioral coping.
Results show that, in the high-risk context, people with a higher place attachment or having a secure bond with the place, are more likely to feel distress, and less likely to use avoidant coping strategies when the perceived risk is high. As for the low-risk context, people having a fearful-avoidant bond are more inclined to choose avoidant coping when the perceived risk is high. When taking into account the actual risk level, and not the perceived risk, people with a secure bond will more likely choose positive coping, as opposed to people with a fearful-avoidant place attachment when exposed to a higher risk. Place attachment style can thus be a relevant variable affecting strategies of environmental risk coping, at both emotional and behavioral level: specifically, a secure place attachment style, though favoring psychological distress, can improve a more constructive and adaptive behavioral strategy in face of higher perceived or objective flood risk.