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See detailUnderstanding primary-school, high-school and university students sustainable behaviours: An approach based on the theory of planned behaviour
De Leeuw, Astrid UL

Doctoral thesis (2015)

Developing a more thorough understanding of what motivates young people to adopt sustainable behaviours is an important area of concern that has practical implications for creating sound educational ... [more ▼]

Developing a more thorough understanding of what motivates young people to adopt sustainable behaviours is an important area of concern that has practical implications for creating sound educational interventions and ensuring a sustainable future. The overall purpose of this thesis was to assess and understand primary- and high-school students’ environmentally sustainable behaviours in order to inform educational interventions. Moreover, it aimed at analysing one particular socially sustainable behavioural intention among university students, notably their intention to buy fair trade products. The theory of planned behaviour (TPB) was used as the basic theoretical framework to examine these behaviours. We first conducted a pilot study for each behaviour, with the aim to identify salient beliefs of the target populations with regard to the behaviour investigated. Open-ended questionnaires were administered to a sample of 116 primary-school students, 92 high-school students, and 17 voluntary participants at the university level. A content analysis of the participants’ responses allowed the determination of the most salient beliefs, which were used as the basis for the quantitative measures of beliefs in the main studies. The first and second main studies investigated the beliefs of 812 primary-school students and 602 high-school students regarding the adoption of pro-environmental behaviours using a longitudinal approach. The gist of our results seems to be that for both age groups, educational interventions should target control beliefs especially. For instance, students insist on tools that would facilitate pro-environmental behaviours (e.g., having duplex printers or recycling bins at school and at home). However, behavioural and normative beliefs should not be neglected. The last study examined mainly differences in male and female university students’ intentions to consume fair trade products. The results indicate that for women, more emphasis should be placed on perceived behavioural control (e.g., factors that facilitate the ii purchase of fair trade products), while for men, more emphasis should be placed on attitudes towards buying fair trade products (i.e., the advantages of adopting this behaviour). Our results confirm the usefulness of the TPB as a framework for understanding young people’s sustainable intentions and behaviours, with perceived control and attitudes having considerable impacts on sustainable intentions and perceived social pressure having a rather low weight. In addition, perceived control and intentions contributed significantly to the explained variance in primary- and high-school students’ eco-friendly behaviours. This thesis makes a number of important contributions to the literature. From a practical point of view, primary- and high-school students are important populations because sustainability-related habits might be established early in life. Moreover, in their roles as potentially important future decision makers in our society (e.g., future company leaders, politicians, global citizens), university students should be sensitized to the unequal power relationships often involved in conventional trading. Offering fair trade products and encouraging their consumption should be considered a small, but important, step in universities’ duty to create awareness. Despite the positive input for interventions inspired by this thesis, some limitations have to be considered, for instance, our reliance on self-report questionnaires and the possibility that participants may have overestimated the extent to which they perform environmentally and socially desirable behaviours related to sustainability. Last, further research is needed to test the effectiveness of interventions based on the present results. [less ▲]

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See detailUnderstanding primary-school students' beliefs regarding the adoption of pro-environmental behaviors
De Leeuw, Astrid UL; Valois, Pierre

in International Journal of Education, Economics, and Management Engeneering (2014), 8(5), 1391-1395

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See detailÉlaboration et validation d`un questionnaire d`attitudes en éducation: considérations épistémologiques et métrologiques
Valois, Pierre UL; Houssemand, Claude UL; De Leeuw, Astrid UL

in Lopez Mottier, Lucie; Figari, Gérard (Eds.) Modélisations de l'évaluation en éducation. Modélisations de l'évaluation en éducation. Questionnements épistémologiques. (2012)

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See detailLes attitudes comme indicateurs cognitifs et affectives des compétences relatives au développement durable
de Leeuw, Astrid UL; Valois, Pierre

in Abstract book du 24e Colloque International de l’ADMEE-Europe (2012)

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See detailPredicting the itentions to buy fair-trade products: the role of attitude, social norm, perceived behavioral control, and moral norm
De Leeuw, Astrid UL; Valois, Pierre UL; Houssemand, Claude UL

in OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development (2011), 2(10), 77-84

The current study examined to what extent attitude, social norm, and perceived behavioral control explain students’ intentions to buy fair-trade products. Moreover, it was explored whether the addition of ... [more ▼]

The current study examined to what extent attitude, social norm, and perceived behavioral control explain students’ intentions to buy fair-trade products. Moreover, it was explored whether the addition of moral norm to these three factors permitted the better prediction of the intentions in question. Questionnaire data was collected from 192 students of the University of Luxemburg. The results of structural equation analyses revealed that attitude and perceived behavioral control explained 61% of the variance in intention. The addition of the moral norm construct increased the explained variance of intention from 61% to 73%. These results suggest that to encourage students to buy fair-trade products, applied social psychologists or educational institutions should create programs that develop their perceived control over the behavior, for instance, by offering the products in their canteens as well as in their food and drink dispensers. In addition, they should insist on the advantages of fair-trade consumerism to favor the development of a positive attitude. Finally, they should emphasize the moral correctness of the behavior. [less ▲]

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