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ERIC Number: EJ1117978
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1467-6370
EISSN: N/A
Campus Prosociality as a Sustainability Indicator
Waring, Timothy M.; Sullivan, Abigail V.; Stapp, Jared R.
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v17 n6 p895-916 2016
Purpose: Prosociality may in part determine sustainability behavior. Prior research indicates that pro-environmental behavior correlates with prosocial attitudes, and separately, that prosociality correlates with social support in homes and communities. Therefore, prosociality may constitute a keystone variable linking human well-being with pro-environmental behavior. The purpose of the paper is to test this conjecture. Design/methodology/approach: Data from a multi-year student survey at the University of Maine on environmental behavior, prosociality and experienced social support are used. A two-stage least-squares regression is applied to explore the relationships between these variables, and sub-scale analysis of the pro-environmental responses is performed. Additionally, spatial statistics for the student population across the state are computed. Findings: The data corroborate previous findings and indicates that social support within a community may bolster the prosociality of its members, which in turn may increase pro-environmental behaviors and intentions. Research limitations/implications: Cross-sectional data do not permit the imputation of causality. Self-reported measures of behavior may also be biased. However, student prosociality surveys may provide an effective and low-cost sustainability metric for large populations. Social implications: The results of this study corroborate prior research to suggest that pro-environmental and prosocial behaviors may both be enhanced by bolstering social support efforts at the community level. Originality/value: It is suggested that prosociality could become a keystone sustainability indicator. The study's results extend the understanding of the connections between prosociality, social support and pro-environmental behavior. The results of this study suggest that efforts to simultaneously improve the well-being and environmental status might focus on building prosociality and social support systems at the community level.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, West Yorkshire, BD16 1WA, UK. Tel: +44-1274-777700; Fax: +44-1274-785201; e-mail: emerald@emeraldinsight.com; Web site: http://www.emeraldinsight.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF); US Department of Agriculture
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maine
Grant or Contract Numbers: EPS0904155; SES1352361; 1003317