One Size Fits None

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  • Title: One Size Fits None: Tailoring Messages to Communicate Environmental Threats
  • Author(s): Madelyn Pardon, Anne Swinbourne, Connar McShane
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Common Ground Open
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability
  • Keywords: Water Sustainability, Extended Parallel Process Model, EPPM, Environmental Behaviour, Clusters
  • Volume: 15
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2325-1077 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2325-1085 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Pardon, Madelyn, Anne Swinbourne, and Connar McShane. 2019. "One Size Fits None: Tailoring Messages to Communicate Environmental Threats." The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability 15 (2): 23-33. doi:10.18848/2325-1077/CGP/v15i02/23-33.
  • Extent: 11 pages


This research aimed to understand peoples’ perceptions of environmental threats to inform threat message construction and branch away from the previous “one size fits all” approach to environmental campaigns. The study used a health decision making model (Extended Parallel Process Model) to cluster individuals based on common cognitive characteristics. The research focused on the context of water security in the drought declared region of Townsville, North Queensland (Australia), where water use was monitored and restricted. A sample of 363 participants was recruited from this region. Participants completed an online survey which asked questions relating to water usage behaviours, perceptions relating to how the water restrictions were communicated, as well as the concerns regarding water security at the time and in the future. Three cluster groups were constructed based on EPPM variables (perceived self-efficacy, perceived response-efficacy, and perceived threat). Each group was significantly different in terms of levels of water-saving behaviour. This research informs a more targeted approach to the communication of environmental threats, such a drought, with the aim of increasing the sustainability of the natural resource.