Environmental attitudes and behaviors of college students: a case study conducted at a chilean university
Encouraging the adoption of a pro-environmental behavior is critical in order to reduce the environmental impacts and to ove toward a more sustainable future. Higher education plays an important role in training professionals who have an important role in protecting the environment in the future. The aim of this study is to identify whether there are significant differences between college students depending on their diploma of specialization, related to the environment or not, the year in which they are studying and gender. The sample consisted of 383 engineering students in first, third and sixth year, with two instruments designed to measure environmental attitudes and behaviors. Significant differences were found between students pursuing diplomas related to the environment and those who are not. Otherwise, no significant differences were observed between students enrolled in different levels. Perceived effort, positive environmental attitude or perceived positive consequents predict the frequency of pro-environmental behaviors in students, the former (perceived effort, negative) being the most influential variable.
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