Determinants of environmental behavior : the effect of social context




Atshan, Samer

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Individual behavior plays a significant role in the use of natural resources and the promulgation of environmental degradation. Environmentally-responsible behavior constitutes practices that generally contribute to environmental well-being. Models that explain why individuals act in an environmentally-responsible way have seen success, but few of them incorporate the effect of the social context of the decision. The objective of this thesis is to investigate some causal pathways through which social capital affects environmentally-responsible behavior. By building on previous models, this thesis conceptualizes a path model that explores the impacts of community participation, social trust, and strong relationships on behaviors such as commuting, environmental boycotting, and behavior on Ozone Action Days. The model also includes environmental concern and internal locus of control as mediating variables between social capital and these environmental behaviors. Structural equation modeling is used to explore associations. Results show that there are valid relationships between social capital and some of the behaviors.


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