Adolescents’ environmental worldview and personality: An explorative study

TitleAdolescents’ environmental worldview and personality: An explorative study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsBoeve-de Pauw, J, Donche, V, Van Petegem, P
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Pagination109 - 117
Date Published2011/06//
ISBN Number0272-4944
Keywordsadolescents, Environmental worldview, HiPIC, NEP, Personality
AbstractThere is a growing interest among scholars in instruments based on environmental worldview. Several studies have used instruments of this kind to compare groups of children or to assess the impact of environmental education initiatives (EEIs) on children’s environmental worldview. When using scales of this nature, it is important to control for factors that might blur the true impact of EEIs. One such factor – and which may have been neglected – is personality. This study (n = 957) examines the link between environmental worldview of Belgian adolescents (as measured by the New Environmental Paradigm scale for children – NEP) and their personality (as measured by the Hierarchical Personality Inventory for Children – HiPIC). The results show that adolescents who are willing to take responsibility for their actions and who feel in control over the outcomes of their decisions are more likely to have an ecocentric worldview. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that, for Belgian adolescents, egocentrism and ecocentrism are opposite conceptions. All correlations were, however, small and showed no deterministic pattern in the relationship between adolescents’ environmental worldview and personality, indicating that worldviews are not stable or innate characteristics within individuals, but can be influenced by interactions between the individual and its context. Personality traits explained only a very small part of the variation in adolescents’ environmental worldview (.7%), suggesting that they are unlikely to blur the impact of EEIs in worldview-based assessment. This is an important finding as it indicates that the results of studies showing differences in the environmental worldview of different groups of respondents or changes in their environmental worldview as a result of taking part in an EEI are not artefacts of non-control for personality and that they may, therefore, reflect genuine differences, changes or impacts.
Short TitleJournal of Environmental Psychology