ERIC Number: EJ1059456
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
Living Green: Examining Sustainable Dorms and Identities
Watson, Lesley; Johnson, Cathryn; Hegtvedt, Karen A.; Parris, Christie L.
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v16 n3 p310-326 2015
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of living in "green" dorms on students' environmentally responsible behaviors (ERBs), in concert with other factors, including individual identity and social context in the form of behavior modeling by peers. Design/methodology/approach: The sample of 243 consists of students who resided in two newly constructed, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold-certified dorms and two conventional dorms. The authors analyze the data collected at the end of the respondents' freshmen year at Emory University using seemingly unrelated regression analysis. Findings: Findings indicate that students who live in "green" dorms engage in more recycling and advocacy behaviors than students in conventional dorms. Environmental identity and perceived behavior modeling by peers positively affect recycling, advocacy and conservation. Furthermore, results indicate an interaction between dorm and identity whereby students with weak environmental identities experience a greater increase in ERBs from living in green dorms than do students with strong environmental identities. Practical implications: These results show that universities do promote students' ERBs through the construction of green residence halls. Universities can also facilitate ERBs by encouraging students to develop strong environmental identities and fostering opportunities for them to engage in ERBs with their peers. Originality/value: This study is valuable for both its practical implications and the theoretical implications for predicting ERBs. The findings indicate that to predict ERBs, it is necessary to consider both contextual and individual level factors.
Descriptors: Dormitories, Sustainability, Conservation (Environment), Student Behavior, College Students, Identification (Psychology), Social Influences, Peer Influence, Regression (Statistics), Recycling, Advocacy, Comparative Analysis, Interaction, Environmental Influences, Student Surveys, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia