ERIC Number: EJ680696
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-May
Understanding Nature-Related Behaviors among Children through a Theory of Reasoned Action Approach
Gotch, Chad; Hall, Troy
Environmental Education Research, v10 n2 p157-177 May 2004
The Theory of Reasoned Action has proven to be a valuable tool for predicting and understanding behavior and, as such, provides a potentially important basis for environmental education program design. This study used a Theory of Reasoned Action approach to examine a unique type of behavior (nature-related activities) and a unique population (early adolescents). Participants (n = 164, ages 9-14) reported their attitudes, subjective norms, age, gender, behavioral intentions, and behaviors in a written questionnaire. Results showed mild success in accounting for children's nature-related behaviors and intentions ( R[squared]=.05 to .33). In general, the ability to predict intentions was greater than the ability to explain actual behaviors. Findings suggest that environmental educators should focus on attitudes when the goal is to achieve behavior change. Future research should compare a Theory of Reasoned Action approach with several alternative frameworks for explaining children's nature-related behaviors, and investigate the relationship between behaviors and behavioral intentions to see why a discrepancy exists in the ability to account for each construct. To more fully influence behavior in environmental education programs, educators may need to address other factors besides attitudes and subjective norms.
Descriptors: Program Design, Behavior Modification, Norms, Behavior Patterns, Adolescents, Environmental Education, Student Attitudes, Learning Activities, Questionnaires
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A