Why do young people do things for the environment? The effect of perceived values on pro-environmental behaviour

Peggy Mei Lan Ng, Cherry Tin Yan Cheung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – This study aimed to develop an integrative model that comprehensively explores the
antecedents of pro-environmental intentions in young people. The study follows customer value theory
(CVT) and the theoretical framework of the theory of planned behaviour (TPB).
Design/methodology/approach – Data was obtained from a field survey of two secondary schools in
Hong Kong. A total of 279 young people (age range: 10–12 years old; 53.8% males) were recruited to
complete the survey. Smart-PLS 3 was used to test the research model with partial least squares
structural equation modelling.
Findings – The findings provided empirical evidence that the perceived values of children regarding
environmentalism play an essential role in developing pro-environmental attitudes and behavioural
intentions, such as recycling intention and conservation intention. The results support the utility of TPB for
its adoption of attitude and behavioural intention as key components of the model. The use of CVT
showed that three dimensions of young people’s perceived values, namely, emotional value, functional
value and relational value, predict a pro-environmental attitude, while attitude predicts recycling intention
and conservation intention.
Practical implications – This study offers crucial insight for schools and the Education Bureau of the
Hong Kong Special Administration Region government, who are focussed on spurring the perceived
values, attitudes and behavioural intentions of young people towards environmentalism. This study
shows that young people’s emotional values, functional values and relational values are important for
transforming pro-environmental attitudes into behavioural intentions in young people.
Originality/value – This study measured the impact of young people’s perceived values on proenvironmental intentions. Few studies address how perceived values affect young people’s proenvironmental behaviour. This study integrates CVT and TPB to explore the source of young people’s
pro-environmental intentions
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalYoung Consumers
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2022


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