2024 journal article

Pushing toward systemic change in the Capitalocene: Investigating the efficacy of existing behavior prediction models on individual and collective pro-environmental actions in high school students

The Journal of Environmental Education.

UN Sustainable Development Goal Categories
4. Quality Education (OpenAlex)
Source: ORCID
Added: March 15, 2024

Environmental education often advocates for individual pro-environmental behavior—which, while beneficial to a degree, fails to match the large scale of today's capitalism-fueled socio-ecological challenges. Rather, collective action holds promise as a means for the large-scale changes required in the Capitalocene. These actions can take the shape of encouraging group uptake of behaviors (collective non-activist behaviors) or through fostering system change (collective activist behaviors). This study works to understand how well the environmental literacy framework combined with the theory of planned behavior predicts collective environmental behaviors, using North Carolina high school students as a study population. We find that, while these models effectively predict student engagement in individual environmental behaviors (adjusted R2 = 0.39), they are less accurate at predicting engagement in collective non-activist behaviors (adjusted R2 = 0.17) and collective activist behaviors (adjusted R2 = 0.10). Thus, more research and theory-building are needed to understand what drives collective behavior among youth and beyond.