The awareness of citizens concerning the health risks caused by environmental pollution is growing, but studies on determinants of pro-environmental behaviors have rarely examined health-related aspects. In this study, we investigated these determinants using data from a large survey among Italian university students (15 Universities: 4778 filled questionnaires). Besides the health-related aspects, represented by environmental health risk perception and functional health literacy, we considered social and demographic characteristics (gender, area of residence, sources of information, trust in institutional and non-institutional subjects, and students’ capacity of positive actions, indicated as internal locus of control). The attitudes towards pro-environmental behaviors were positive for more than 70% of students and positively related with health risk perception, internal locus of control, and health literacy. The correspondence between the positive attitudes towards pro-environmental behaviors and the real adoption of such behaviors was approximately 20% for most behaviors, except for the separate collection of waste (60%). Such a discrepancy can be attributable to external obstacles (i.e., lack of time, costs, lack of support). The health-related aspects were linked to the pro-environmental attitudes, but to a lesser extent to pro-environmental behaviors, owing to the complexity of their determinants. However, they should be taken in account in planning education interventions.

Pro-environmental behaviors: Determinants and obstacles among italian university students

Fiore M.;Di Giovanni P.;Nicolosi L. K.;Serio F.;Vinceti M.;Ferrante M.
2021-01-01

Abstract

The awareness of citizens concerning the health risks caused by environmental pollution is growing, but studies on determinants of pro-environmental behaviors have rarely examined health-related aspects. In this study, we investigated these determinants using data from a large survey among Italian university students (15 Universities: 4778 filled questionnaires). Besides the health-related aspects, represented by environmental health risk perception and functional health literacy, we considered social and demographic characteristics (gender, area of residence, sources of information, trust in institutional and non-institutional subjects, and students’ capacity of positive actions, indicated as internal locus of control). The attitudes towards pro-environmental behaviors were positive for more than 70% of students and positively related with health risk perception, internal locus of control, and health literacy. The correspondence between the positive attitudes towards pro-environmental behaviors and the real adoption of such behaviors was approximately 20% for most behaviors, except for the separate collection of waste (60%). Such a discrepancy can be attributable to external obstacles (i.e., lack of time, costs, lack of support). The health-related aspects were linked to the pro-environmental attitudes, but to a lesser extent to pro-environmental behaviors, owing to the complexity of their determinants. However, they should be taken in account in planning education interventions.
2021
Environmental health risk perception
Functional health literacy
Internal locus of control
Pro-environmental attitudes
Pro-environmental behaviors
Risk communication
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/610192
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