Problem Statement:The damage caused by recent environmental problems has led to increased environmental concerns and the development of environment-friendly consumption behaviours in almost every society. Environment-friendly consumption involves the consideration of environmental benefits by minimizing any damage done to the environment at all stages of consumption. Studies researching the effects of parents in environmental problems have demonstrated that mothers were more concerned and worried about environmental issues than fathers.
Purpose of Study:This study investigates the environmental sensitivities of university students and the causal relationships between their environmental protection commitments and environment-friendly consumption behaviors through using Structural Equation Model (SEM) which takes into consideration their mothers’ educational levels.
Methods: As a pilot study, the prepared scale was applied to 60 randomly chosen students. The final version of the scale was applied after extracting any unclear questions.After determining sampling, the scale was administered randomly to 520 students at Eskişehir Osmangazi University. Cronbach’s α values were used to assess the reliability of the scale, and items with low reliability scores were omitted. After reliability analysis, Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) was applied, and the structural equation model was developed after removing items which had factor loadings lower than 0.45.
Findings and Results: Environmental sensitivity/insensitivity significantly affected the environmental protection commitment. Those with higher environmental protection commitment levels exhibited more environment-friendly consumption behaviour. It was also found that the students’ genders, their families’ place of domicile and particularly the parents’ educational levels were significant factors in determining differences in the development of students’ environmental sensitivities and behaviours.
Conclusion and Recommendations: Students whose mothers have graduated from a university promise to be active environmentalists by joining related organizations. Our results also show that the inclination toward environmentalism is similar among women as it is among students’ whose mothers have graduated from a university. This result may suggest that women tend to be more environmentalist and that this tendency increases with education level. Considering that just 3.7% of mothers in Turkey have graduated from a university, it is made clear once again how important it is to encourage girls, some of whom will be mothers in the future, to pursue a university education.
Keywords:Environmental sensitivity, environment-friendly consumption, environmental protection commitment, Structural Equation Modelling.