Promoting Children’s Pro-environmental Behavior: A Multilevel Analysis | Faculty Development Scheme (FDS), Research Grants Council (RGC) Competitive Research Funding Schemes for the Local Self-financing Degree | HK$488,246 | Reference No.: UGC/FDS24/H08/20|

Project Details


Received HK$488,246 from RGC (Research Grant Council) FDS Title: Promoting Children’s Pro-environmental Behavior: A Multilevel Analysis

Layman's description

Children’s pro-environmental behavior is crucial to achieve a more sustainable future. Increasing attention has been paid to identify what factors are vital to children’s pro-environmental behavior. To promote the notion of sustainability, government deployed significant resources to environmental education in primary schools. In 2018, The HKSAR Government injected HK$45 million on environmental education and community action projects to raise environmental knowledge of the public and to motivate behavioral change for environmental conservation with the ultimate goal of developing pro-environmental behavior (Environmental Protection Department, 2018), yet limited research investigates its impacts on pro-environmental behavior.

Previous research showed that increasing the level of environmental knowledge and awareness did not directly lead to pro-environmental behavior due to the discrepancy between attitude and behavior. To address this discrepancy, recent empirical studies have focused on the influence of parents and peers on children at individual level, but it offered inconsistent results. Thus, the association between children’s environmental attitudes and pro-environmental behavior is still inconclusive. The individual-level approach does not fully explain the variances of children’s pro-environmental behavior due to the neglect of other contextual factors (e.g. teachers’ environmental knowledge sharing).

Up to date, less work has explored the impact of environmental knowledge sharing of teachers on children’s pro-environmental behavior, raising interesting questions about whether teachers’ environmental knowledge sharing can add “value” to children’s pro-environmental behavior. Yet, there are no previous empirical research considering both the student and teacher-level factors concerning children’s pro-environmental behavior thus creating a research gap.

Addressing this gap in literature, this study uses multilevel analysis to examine both individual children-level and the teacher-level to provide a more holistic picture in the development of children’s pro-environmentalism. Drawing on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), a multilevel framework is proposed to analyze children’s pro-environmental behavior incorporating the moderating effect of teachers’ environmental knowledge sharing. Data collection will be conducted by both experiments (from children aged 8-11) and questionnaire (from their General Studies teachers) in twelve primary schools in Hong Kong. Also, school principals of selected primary schools will be invited for in-depth interviews to further understand the current situation and challenges of implementing environmental education in primary schools and how children’s pro-environmental behavior can be encouraged.

The present study is the first empirical study to investigate children’s pro-environmental behavior using a novel multilevel modeling approach. The results of this study can significantly contribute to existing literature regarding the association between children’s environmental attitude and their pro-environmentalism. The ultimate long-term objective of this study is to encourage children’s pro-environmental behavior, thus, the findings of the study would also inform primary schools (school principals and General Studies teachers) and government related bodies (e.g. Environmental Protection Department (EPD) and Environmental Campaign Committee (ECC)) how children’s pro-environmental behavior can be encouraged.
Effective start/end date1/01/2131/12/22


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