Combining Psychological and Economic Methods to Improve Understanding of Factors Determining Adults’ Valuation of Children’s Health

EPA Grant Number: R830823
Title: Combining Psychological and Economic Methods to Improve Understanding of Factors Determining Adults’ Valuation of Children’s Health
Investigators: Asmus, Cheryl , Bell, Paul , Loomis, John
Institution: Colorado State University
EPA Project Officer: Wheeler, William
Project Period: July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2005
Project Amount: $399,727
RFA: Valuation of Environmental Impacts on Children's Health (2002) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Children's Health , Health Effects , Health , Economics and Decision Sciences


The objective of the proposed research is to test a hybrid method that combines the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and conjoint analysis for determining adults' willingness-to-pay (WTP) to protect children's health, with the method to be adapted for policy-making. For the development of this method nitrates in drinking water will serve as the risk factor because it only affects children’s health. It is hypothesized that combined responses on the various sections of the questionnaire will have predictive value for the respondents’ WTP. It is also expected that WTP will be higher for adults with children than for adults with no children but that the WTP of these adults will still be greater than zero and that the explanatory power of TPB (via regression) and conjoint analysis will be greater if the choice is consequential.


Two experimental groups from areas of Colorado with nitrate-contaminated drinking water and one control group from an urban area with nitrate-free drinking water will be tested. A questionnaire will be used to assess knowledge and beliefs about the risk factor, as well as the components of TPB. Respondents will also complete a choice task for a conjoint analysis to assess their preferred choices of behavior for averting this risk. Upon completion of the task, half the sample (consequential choice group) will actually be given the opportunity to purchase one of their averting choices (a water filter or a year's supply of bottled water) to test the effect of making the choices consequential.

Expected Results:

In addition to expecting WTP to be higher for adults with children and that the explanatory power of TPB to be greater for the consequential choice treatment conditions, it is also expected that this research will result in the development of a model that can be used by policy makers to investigate averting option preferences with respect to other stressors.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 9 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 1 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

risk assessment, conjoint analysis, economics, social psychology, environmental psychology, environmental attitudes., RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Health, Scientific Discipline, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, HUMAN HEALTH, Exposure, Risk Assessments, Economics, Monitoring/Modeling, Physical Processes, decision-making, Ecology and Ecosystems, Children's Health, Environmental Policy, Economics & Decision Making, Social Science, contingent valuation, chemical exposure, multi-objective decision making, policy analysis, surveys, ecological risk assessment, theory of planned behavior, biomarkers, decision analysis, decision making, dose-response, pesticides, risk assessment model, population based dose response model, age-related differences, behavioral assessment, environmental risks, market valuation models, non-market valuation, standards of value, human exposue, human exposure, PCB, adult valuation of children's health, willingness to pay (WTP), ecological risk, environmental stress, water quality, dietary exposure, public policy, willingness to pay, conjoint analysis, multi-criteria decision analysis, fish-borne toxicants, human health risk

Progress and Final Reports:

2003 Progress Report
2004 Progress Report
Final Report