Nature Relatedness and Environmental Concern of Young People in Ecuador and Germany

Autor(en): Dornhoff, Maximilian
Sothmann, Jan-Niklas
Fiebelkorn, Florian 
Menzel, Susanne 
Stichwörter: biodiversity; COMMUNITY; CONNECTEDNESS; cross-cultural; EMPATHY; environmental concern; GENDER; Psychology; Psychology, Multidisciplinary; RESPONSE BIAS; SCALE; self-transcendence; students; sustainable development; VALUES
Erscheinungsdatum: 2019
Volumen: 10
Today's societies are confronted by a daily biodiversity loss, which will increase in the face of climate change and environmental pollution. Biodiversity loss is a particularly severe problem in so-called biodiversity hotspots. Ecuador is an example of a country that hosts two different biodiversity hotspots. Human behavior - in developing as well as in industrial countries such as Germany - must be considered as one of the most important direct and indirect drivers of this global trend and thus plays a crucial role in environmentalism and biodiversity conservation. Nature relatedness and environmental concern have been identified as important environmental psychological factors related to people's pro-environmental behavior. However, the human-nature relationship depends on a variety of other factors, such as values, gender, nationality, qualities of environmental concern and time spent in nature. This study compared young people from Ecuador and Germany with regard to their nature relatedness and environmental concern. Furthermore, the role of the aforementioned factors was investigated. In total, we surveyed 2,173 high school students from Germany (M-age = 14.56 years, SD = 1.45; female: 55.1%) and 451 high school students from Ecuador (M-age = 14.63 years, SD = 1.77; female: 55.3%). We found that young Ecuadorians were more related to nature than young people from Germany. Additionally, we found country-specific differences in the structure of environmental concern and in the role of gender in the explanation of biospheric environmental concern and nature relatedness. In both samples, the self-transcendence value cluster was a significant positive predictor for biospheric environmental concern and nature relatedness. Time spent in nature was a significant positive predictor for nature relatedness in both samples. The results are an empirical basis for the assumption of culture-specific differences in human-nature relationships.
ISSN: 16641078
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00453

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