Pro-environmental behaviours in a high school social network

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dc.contributor.advisor Atkinson, Q en
dc.contributor.advisor Harre, N en Long, Jennifer en 2015-09-11T04:09:08Z en 2015 en
dc.identifier.citation 2015 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract Managing and mitigating our impact on the natural environment is arguably the greatest challenge facing the world today. Social interactions can shape both collective and individual responses to environmental degradation. During adolescence friends may be particularly influential in pro-environmental behaviour as this is thought to be a time of heightened susceptibility to peer influence. This thesis takes an in-depth look at the role of friends in shaping the pro-environmental behaviour of students attending a high school in Auckland, New Zealand. It reports results from focus groups and a three-wave social network longitudinal survey focusing on waste sorting behaviour and transport choices. The results showed that waste and transport behaviours clustered in the school social network such that students behaved similarly to their friends. Repeated measures analyses indicated that friends tended to become more similar over time in cycling (for males only) as well as in littering and recycling. This is consistent with a “contagion” process whereby students’ behaviour is influenced by friends’ behaviour. Investigation of three potential mechanisms did not identify any significant mediators of contagion, possibly due to the analytical approach used in this study. Further research is needed to explore what drives the apparent contagion in these behaviours. To examine the broader context of social influence, the final chapter investigates the role of conversation in constructing environmental action. The analysis of the focus group comments argues that justifications and stereotypes of pro-environmental action can serve to reinforce behavioural norms around minimal environmental action. These findings suggest that interventions focusing on littering, recycling and cycling behaviour (in males) should consider the subsequent effects that encouraging a behaviour in a set of individuals may have for their friends’ behaviour. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99264818412602091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Pro-environmental behaviours in a high school social network en
dc.type Thesis en Psychology en The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The Author en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.elements-id 496445 en Medical and Health Sciences en School of Medicine en Cent Medical & Hlth Sci Educat en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2015-09-11 en

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