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ERIC Number: EJ1165097
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1467-6370
Sustainability Attitudes and Behavioral Motivations of College Students: Testing the Extended Parallel Process Model
Perrault, Evan K.; Clark, Scott K.
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v19 n1 p32-47 2018
Purpose: A planet that can no longer sustain life is a frightening thought--and one that is often present in mass media messages. Therefore, this study aims to test the components of a classic fear appeal theory, the extended parallel process model (EPPM) and to determine how well its constructs predict sustainability behavioral intentions. This study also strove to uncover students' motivations and attitudes that are not present in the EPPM. Design/methodology/approach: An online survey of 779 college students was conducted. Findings: Results reveal that both threat and efficacy are significant predictors of behavioral intention, consistent with the EPPM. However, an analysis of open-ended comments reveals that subjective normative influence and incentives also play a key role in students performing future sustainable behaviors. Practical implications: These findings provide a framework to educators and message designers of sustainability groups on college campuses highlighting the importance of including multiple constructs in their messages to students. Threatening messages will not be enough to increase behavioral intentions. Fear inducing messages must be combined with messages to increase self- and response efficacy. Education is also not the only piece of the puzzle. Students state difficulty in performing some sustainable behaviors as a key barrier, indicating a need to incorporate infrastructure changes at campuses to facilitate greater ease among students to act sustainably. Originality value: This study tests the EPPM's utility in helping to find the most effective ways to influence college students' future behavioral intentions toward acting sustainably.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A