Pro-Environmental Attitudes and Behaviors in Higher Education: Investigating the Role of Formal and Informal Factors

Pizmony-Levy, Oren; Ostrow Michel, Jessica

Scholars have documented the growing presence of environmental and sustainability education in higher education institutions around the world. However, we know little about how colleges and universities mobilize students to adopt pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors. Drawing on the whole student framework, this study examines the extent to which curricular and co-curricular factors are associated with students’ engagement with environmentalism. Using survey data from 539 students at Indiana University and multivariate analysis, we demonstrate that (a) hearing about environmentalism and sustainability in class and (b) membership in campus-based environmental groups have positive and significant effects. These factors are associated with increased levels of care for the environment and increased levels of private and public pro-environmental behaviors. We discuss the implications of these findings in relation to the role of higher education institutions as incubators for the development of competent social actors.


  • thumnail for Pro-Environmental Behaviors and Activism in Higher Education.pdf Pro-Environmental Behaviors and Activism in Higher Education.pdf application/pdf 1.03 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
International and Comparative Education
Published Here
February 27, 2018