A model of proenvironmental behavior predicted by dispositional, situational and demographic variables: The case of Mexico.
Committee ChairBechtel, Robert B.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to test a model of conservation behavior in a Mexican community. Reuse and recycling patterns of one-hundred families in a middle-sized city of Northwestern Mexico were analyzed using direct observations of reused and recycled items. Predictors of the studied behaviors were assessed by an inventory administered to housewives, which included self-reports, observations and event-test activities of dispositional variables (motives, competencies, beliefs, knowledge), demographic factors (age, income, education) and situational variables (storage facilities, presence of collectors of recyclables, use of radio, TV, newspapers and books). A comparison of responses to self-reports and observations of reused/recycled items showed a significant lack of correspondence between these measures. Therefore, observation was selected as the method best indicating reuse and recycling. These observations revealed that reuse is a more generalized conservation practice, while recycling is limited to selected items. Multiple regressions of dispositional, demographic and situational variables on both conservation behaviors showed that motives to reuse was the only significant direct predictor of reusing, while motives to recycling predicted recycling in a positive way, and facilities for storage had a significant but negative effect on recycling. However, the use of a structural equations models revealed the presence of significant indirect predictors of most of these variables on reuse and recycling. Motives and competencies to reuse/recycle positively affected conservation behaviors, but conservation beliefs did not; Competencies had a positive influence on motives to reuse and recycle, and the use of TV/radio negatively affected the motivation to reuse. Knowledge of reusables/recyclables had a positive effect on competencies, while reading books and newspapers had a significant influence on knowledge about reusables. The indirect effect of education on these conservation behaviors was manifested through its significant positive influence on reading books/newspapers and a significant negative effect on the use of radio and television. The presence of people collecting recyclables did not affect housewive's recycling while the possession of storage facilities negatively affected such a recycling practice.