Examining the Relationships between Factors Influencing Environmental Behaviour among University Students
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CitationKukkonen, Jari. Kärkkäinen, Sirpa. Keinonen, Tuula. (2018). Examining the Relationships between Factors Influencing Environmental Behaviour among University Students. Sustainability, 10 (11) , 4294. 10.3390/su10114294.
Education for sustainability may be seen as consisting of four dimensions: sensitivity and attitudes toward the environment, awareness and knowledge of the environment, environmentally friendly actions and participation. A questionnaire was drawn up which includes statements concerning all these dimensions and it was filled out by 674 university students from different majors. Data were analysed statistically and a structural equation model was formed. Results indicate that sensitivity toward or awareness of nature is the basis for the enjoyment of nature. The enjoyment of nature is directly positively related to the intention of support pro-environmental activity and to environmental knowledge. Furthermore, it has a mediational effect on ecological knowledge, concern, or the belief of human dominance over nature. Students who possess global concerns do not accept human dominance and this is related to the intent to support environmental activities. Students were found to form groups: “Sorters.” “Occasional actors” and “Resource savers.” Compared to prior research, due to the additional items concerning environmental sensitivity and awareness in our instrument, we were able to uncover the importance of sensitivity to the enjoyment of nature in the complex model of the relationships between awareness, attitudes, knowledge, concerns and intentions. Ecological knowledge leads to global concerns and, therefore, it should be promoted through science education.