ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY SCALES IN SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS: PREDISPOSITION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION
Developing an understanding of children’s environmental attitudes and behavior becomes an essential component of providing for a healthier planet. This paper describes the development of an environmental responsibility scale to assess secondary school students’ predisposition for pro-environmental actions as a precursor of pro-environmental behavior. The investigation was developed in two studies. In the first study, predisposition for pro-environmental actions scale was developed and tested in a secondary education sample. Participants were 234 (99 boys and 135 girls) Greek secondary school students (13-17 years old) who completed a 10-item scale. Exploratory factor identified two problematic items which were removed, and suggested a one factor solution consisting of eight items (Cronbach’s α = .86). Confirmatory factor analysis was applied in the same sample to further identify potential problems with the items and the factor structure of the instrument. The analysis provided better support for a 2-factor solution: (a) ‘predisposition for individual environmental actions’ consisting of five items and (b) ‘predisposition for other peoples’ encouragement for environmental actions’ consisting of 3 items. The fit indices for the specified model were at satisfactory levels (CFI= .96 & RMSEA= .08). In the second study, participants were 262 secondary school students (13-17 years old) (127 boys and 135 girls) in Greece. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the factorial validity of the scale. The fit indices for the specified model were at satisfactory fit (CFI= .97 & RMSEA= .06). In terms of reliability, for the two subscales were acceptable (Cronbach’s a = 90 and 92 respectively). In the final step, the adapted for children Greek version of the GREB (Zafeiroudi & Hatzigeorgiadis, in press), which has shown similar factor structure, was also administered to test the concurrent validity of the scale. Analysis of correlations showed high positive relationships between the corresponding dimensions (r= .44 for group action and r=.46 for individual action). The current investigation provides preliminary support for the psychometric integrity of the scale assessing predisposition for pro-environmental action in young children as a precursor of pro-environmental behavior. The findings encourage further research into understanding the factors that influence and shape the environmental behavior of secondary school students.