Role Conflict in a Radiological Emergency: The Case of Public School Teachers

James H. Johnson

DOI: 10.2190/XPR5-BAJP-Q22W-QQLX


Social survey data are utilized in this article to determine the extent to which public school teachers are likely to experience role conflict and fail to respond promptly, if at all, in assisting with the evacuation of school children in a radiological emergency. Nearly one-third of the teachers surveyed indicated that, under the conditions outlined in a nuclear reactor accident scenario, they would not assist in an emergency evacuation effort, owing largely to a strong sense of obligation to family in crisis situations and concern for personal safety. The behavioral intentions of the teachers are consistent with actual behavior during the Three Mile Island accident where emergency personnel with close family ties failed to report for duty at local hospitals. Implications for radiological emergency preparedness and response planning are discussed.

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