Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Fall 2016


Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2016


Copyright © 2016 Sydney Lawton


This exploratory study uses the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) Scale paired with semi-structured interviews of participants that had a positive predisposition towards the environment to better understand how pro-environmental behavior is developed. Following closely previous qualitative studies on pro-environmental behavior development, dominant background influences including parental exposure to sustainability, growing up in a rural environment, exposure to gardening during childhood, and time spent with family outdoors during childhood were found to be important aspects of development of individuals with positive environmental attitudes that exhibit pro-environmental behaviors. In order to engender a positive future with a population of individuals with positive environmental attitudes that practice pro-environmental behaviors, an education system that focuses on environmental education and awareness program that mimics these four main influences from childhood, found to be positively related to proecological worldviews from NEP scale assessment, could be implemented.