Given the threats of climate change along with limited natural resources, colleges and universities are in a position to role model sustainable practices and provide opportunities for students to learn how to live more sustainable lives. Campus housing departments are well positioned to implement sustainability education programs for their residential students. Residential college students are often less motivated to engage in sustainable living behaviors because they perceive minimal control over their living environment and are not held accountable for their resource consumption. This study evaluated the effect the No Impact Jack Sustainable Living Certificate program had on promoting and sustaining behavior change in residential college students. The program design applied the theory of planned behavior, which uses reported behavioral beliefs, normative beliefs, and control beliefs to predict behavioral intention for performing the target behaviors. This study identified barriers and motivations for engaging in sustainable living behaviors, as perceived by first year residential students, alongside the testing of certain Community Based Social Marketing strategies including public commitment, social norms, and incentives. The No Impact Jack program was most successful in helping participants maintain their current behaviors and affirming their motivations for engaging in sustainable behaviors in the context of a new and slightly more challenging living environment. Those who participated in the No Impact Jack program were less susceptible than the other research participants to the perceived barriers (control beliefs) encountered in this new environment. Participation in the No Impact Jack program helped them learn more about sustainable living behaviors in the college environment and the certificate on the door provided additional motivation for holding themselves accountable to the commitment they made. The results provided direction on what type of education and programmatic outreach to provide to residential college students in order to facilitate and maintain desired behavior changes.
|Advisor:||Dickson, K. Laurie|
|Commitee:||Anderson, Cynthia, Fernandez, Richard|
|School:||Northern Arizona University|
|Department:||College of Social and Behavioral Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||MAI 51/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social psychology, Sustainability, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Community-based social marketing, Incentives, Public committment, Residence life, Social norms, Theory of planned behavior|
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