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ERIC Number: EJ1117978
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1467-6370
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.
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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