Pro-Environmental Behaviours: A concern for young adults?

Heyes, M (2010) Pro-Environmental Behaviours: A concern for young adults? [Dissertation]

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The issue of environmental degradation is rapidly becoming one of the most important problems
of our time (Bamberg, 2003) It is a matter that is frequently reflected on in all aspects of the
media. Much research has been done in the area of environmental behaviour and attitudes that
tend to make a link between lack of environmental awareness and limited participation in proenvironmental
behaviours in young people. As well as the connection being made to age and
environmental awareness, previous research has also made the association between age and
political awareness. It is also of key importance to explore potential influences an environmental
attitudes and this study looks at celebrity influence as an aspect of this. The study uses a self
completed questionnaire to investigate young adults’ attitudes towards the environment. The
questionnaire was created and distributed electronically on survey monkey and distributed
electronically using social networking site Facebook, as the key demographic used in this study
is young adults. This study investigates this link, and also studies the relationship between health
awareness and environmental concern. The questionnaire contained mainly multiple choice
questions, although it did also use open, written answer questions generating some qualitative
data in order to gain a better understanding of respondents’ opinions and thoughts. Findings from
the research suggest that there is a relationship between environmental awareness and political
interest, however there does not appear to be the same link with health awareness. It is also
apparent from the research that respondents feel that celebrities have no influence on their lives;
however they do feel that celebrities would be able to promote environmental issues. This
contradiction highlights the problems with qualitative research and the gap between how people
perceive their behaviour, and how they actually behave.

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