Socio-Economic and Psychological Determinants for Household Water Treatment Practices in Indigenous–Rural Indonesia

D. Daniel*, Saket Pande, Luuk Rietveld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Household water treatment (HWT) is one of the possible technologies to improve the quality of potable water in low–middle-income countries. However, many households still drink untreated water that leads to negative health consequences, highlighting the need for a behavioral study. This study explores the role of eight socio-economic characteristics (SECs) and five psychological factors on the practices of HWT, using a combination of statistical analyses and Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) modeling. The findings were based on 377 household interviews in East Sumba, Indonesia, an area where indigenous belief is still common. Self-reported answers and observed practices of HWT were combined, and 51% of the respondents were categorized as regular users of HWT. Furthermore, favorable socio-economic conditions, e.g., wealthier or more educated parents, facilitated psychological factors that led to regular use of HWT. This suggests the importance of reducing SEC inequalities to improve the HWT adoption. Mother's education was the most influential SEC (ΔP = 8), and people who followed indigenous beliefs tend not to use HWT on a regular basis. Moreover, easy access to water positively influenced the household's ability to operate the HWT technology. Attitude toward the HWT practice, especially the perception of treated water's taste (β = 0.277), was the most significant psychological factor, influencing HWT adoption. An interpretation of complex interlinkages between socio-economic conditions and psychological factors that drive the practice of HWT was therefore offered, alongside recommendations for conservative interventions to change the household's behavior in a culturally unique area with difficult access to water.

Original languageEnglish
Article number649445
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Water
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Bayesian belief networks
  • household water treatment
  • indigenous belief
  • psychological factors
  • socio-economic characteristics


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