French adolescents' environmental friendly behaviour

Conference object English OPEN
Schleyer-Lindenmann, Alexandra (2012)
  • Publisher: HAL CCSD
  • Subject: environmental friendly behavior | attitudes environnementales | developmental settings | affinité emotionnelle avec la nature | [ SHS.EDU ] Humanities and Social Sciences/Education | environmental attitudes | [SHS.EDU] Humanities and Social Sciences/Education | [ SHS.ENVIR ] Humanities and Social Sciences/Environmental studies | comportement ecologique | emotional affinity towards nature | [SHS.PSY] Humanities and Social Sciences/Psychology | [SHS.ENVIR] Humanities and Social Sciences/Environmental studies | contextes de développement | [ SHS.PSY ] Humanities and Social Sciences/Psychology

International audience; Environmental friendly behavior and attitudes have been studied in social sciences since the 1970 with the awakening of an « ecological consciousness ». Psychology has been actively taking part in these studies since then (Maloney & Ward, 1973, Oskamp, 2000, Schmuck & Schultz, 2002). Bronfenbrenner (1979) in his nested system approach, sees the person as seen as a developing entity, in constant interaction with different developing environments. We therefore propose to study two different settings (city / family) around the adolescents which could have an influence on his/her pro-environmental behaviors, as well as the influence of a psychological variable : emotional affinity to nature. In detail we wanted to check the following aspects : Influence of the city : Is the image the adolescent is having of his city (polluted or preserved) influencing his behavior concerning environment ? We took two cities in the south of France, a priori contrasted concerning the image of their environment : the city A. is associated to the positive, nature protecting image of the Camargue, wheres the city B. is defending itself against a negative image du to the industrialisation and pollution of the Berre – Pond nearby. Without having a oriented hypothesis, we could imagine that the positive or negative image of the city induces a propensity in the adolescents to act : either a favorable image encourages pro-environmental behavior (as a social norm), or a negative image calls upon such behavior (as a protective reaction). A second setting we were interested in was the family. Is the fact to live in a family which is engaged in environmental matters induces the adolescent to do the same ? Or would he / she be rather taking his / her distances with this model of behavior ? Different aspects were studied :-parents' role model (what they do) and parents – children's discussions about the environment (what they say). We checked also parents' SES. The third variable studied was psychological. It is the personal experience of and with nature of the adolescent. Kals, Schumacher and Montada (1999) called this « emotional affinity towards nature ». In their study, they showed that emotional aspects also influence the ways adults behaved toward nature. Indeed, cognitive aspects are not the only ones to decide people to act for the environment. Yet, the emotional aspect has been treated rather rarely in the studies of pro-environmental behaviors. The dependent variable was the self-reported frequency of environmental friendly behavior of the adolescent (save water, save electricity, recycle waste…).
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