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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Doctoral dissertation
Title A Concurrent Mixed Method Study Exploring Iraqi Immigrants' Views of Michigan
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL http://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3247&context=dissertations
Abstract
Failure of emergency response personnel to communicate effectively with different
cultures can have dire consequences during an emergency, including loss of lives and
litigation costs. For emergency response personnel to communicate the risk of an
emergency, it is important to understand how different groups, especially newly arrived
foreign immigrants, perceive warnings and related messages. This study addressed how
one of the largest category of immigrants in Michigan perceived severe tornados,
influenza pandemics, power outages, severe floods, and snowstorms. The research
question examined the degree to which the equation, Risk = Hazard + Outrage, explained
perceptions of these hazards in Michigan among newly arrived Iraqi immigrants. A
concurrent mixed-method design was used. In-person interviews were conducted using
quantitative and qualitative questions based on the equation and the PEN 3 model with 84
immigrants from Iraq who lived in the United States 4 years or less. Respondents’ levels
of outrage and hazard were compared using ANOVA. The calculated levels were
compared with the qualitative comments made during the interviews. Snowstorms
measured the highest outrage, and power outages measured the least. The reported
awareness level was lowest for snowstorms with the highest being power outages. More
information needs to reach Iraqi immigrants regarding unfamiliar hazards.
Communicators should use Iraqi immigrants’ experience with familiar hazards to identify
effective ways of responding to this population. The results of this study may promote
social change of more effective communication and saving lives in the future should an
emergency occur in Michigan that affects Iraqi immigrants.

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