Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2007


This study examines the major differences between native-born and foreign-born residents of the United States on measures of environmental risk perception and risk attitudes. Hypotheses derived from the cultural theory of risk were tested. Discriminant analysis of the General Social Survey (GSS) and International Social Survey Program (ISSP) data was conducted using environmental and technological risk perception and attitudes modules. The results indicate that foreign-born respondents are more risk averse and skeptical about sources of information about environmental risks than their native-born counterparts. While there are some points of agreement, these groups exhibit dissimilar environmental risk perception on several measures. Native-born respondents scored significantly lower on risk perception and attitudes toward technological and environmental risks relative to their foreign-born counterparts. Methodological and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.


Published by the Society for Human Ecology