Enhancing Aquatic Invasive Species Outreach Through Values-framed Messages

Elizabeth J. Golebie, Carena J. van Riper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aquatic invasive species (AIS) pose negative threats to ecosystems and society on a global scale. The unintentional transport of AIS by recreationists who move between waterbodies has prompted outreach campaigns that encourage changes in human behavior. These campaigns have been widely disseminated, however the risks of AIS transport remain high. Thus, evaluations of how these campaigns are being processed by stakeholders are urgently needed. In this study, we tested the persuasive capacity of values-framed messages among recreational water users throughout the U.S. state of Illinois. Results indicated that messages framed to reflect biospheric and altruistic values were most likely to resonate with recreationists. Specifically, participants with strong biospheric values tended to review the message closely when it was aligned with their values, resulting in stronger beliefs about their ability to take action. Implementing values-framing in AIS outreach may ultimately increase support for AIS prevention and lower the risk of spread.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-86
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironmental Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • Message framing
  • aquatic invasive species prevention
  • elaboration likelihood model
  • protection motivation theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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