Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Dr. Isaac Luginaah


This thesis examines the relationship between humans and their environment in the context of climate change in coastal Cambodia. Specifically, this thesis focuses on household energy consumption behavior, climate change adaptation and subjective human health impacts. A cross-sectional survey of 1823 individuals in four coastal provinces in Cambodia was conducted. A series of quantitative analyses, including complementary log-log regression, ordered logistic regression and logistic regression analysis, were employed to analyze the data. The results showed that both past experience of extreme climatic events and awareness of climate change had a positive relationship with household energy reduction behavior. Females and rural residents were less likely to report reduction in household energy. Perceived self-efficacy, education and duration of residence had positive relationships with both anticipatory and reactive adaptation to climate change although to varying degrees. Perceived socio-ecological impact of climate change and barriers to protect against the impact of climate change had negative associations with self-rated health. Furthermore, older individuals, females and higher income households had negative associations with self-reported health. However, individuals who had attained higher formal education and those who were employed reported better health status.

This study makes contributions to theory, methodology and more importantly policy issues around climate change in coastal Cambodia. Using theoretical constructs from the Social Cognitive Theory, the findings show that direct personal agency (first-hand experiences) of climatic hazard events plays a key role in behavior response to climate change through a reduction in household energy consumption. Perceived self-efficacy also plays an important role in both anticipatory and reactive adaptation to climate change. The overall interaction between personal and social-environment in this context influences self-rated health. The utilization of a plurality of statistical techniques in this study contributes to a deeper understanding of the interaction of coastal populations and their environment in Cambodia under a changing climate. Finally, the findings of this study may serve as a potential road map for policy makers on household energy reduction, climate change adaptation and coastal community health in Cambodia.