A Comparative Study of Environmental Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors Among University Students in China

International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 91-104, May 2011

15 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2012  

John P. Tiefenbacher

Texas State University, San Marcos - Department of Geography

Xueqin (Elaine) He

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ting Hong

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Lan Liu

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: May 4, 2011

Abstract

Environmental problems in China are intensifying and it is vital to evaluate the environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of the generation poised to inherit their management. This study examines a survey of environmental awareness among Chinese students (aged between 16 and 20 years). Considering the contrasting levels of regional economic development and environmental problems in the eastern/coastal and western/inland regions of China, we examine how environmental differences affect university students’ environmental awareness. Data were analyzed statistically using nonparametric tests to compare a population of urban residents from a developed region against a similar population of urbanites from a less-developed region. Students in the samples possessed rather low levels of environmental knowledge, but had positive environmental attitudes and were willing to commit to environment-friendly behaviors. Students growing up in developed versus less-developed settings had significantly different levels of general environmental awareness despite their shared exposure to institutionalized environmental education.

Keywords: environmental knowledge, attitudes, behavior, environmental education, development, China

Suggested Citation

Tiefenbacher, John P. and He, Xueqin (Elaine) and Hong, Ting and Liu, Lan, A Comparative Study of Environmental Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors Among University Students in China (May 4, 2011). International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 91-104, May 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2017869

John P. Tiefenbacher (Contact Author)

Texas State University, San Marcos - Department of Geography ( email )

601 University Dr.
San Marcos, TX 78666
United States
(512) 245-8327 (Phone)
(512) 245-8353 (Fax)

Xueqin (Elaine) He

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ting Hong

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Lan Liu

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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