Swan, Malcolm D.
M.S. (Master of Science)
Department of Outdoor Teacher Education
Ecology; Junior college students
Environmental considerations have become a prominent part of life in the United States in the last five years. A key concept here is the environmental continuum which stretches from apathy, awareness, and concern to positive action. The focus in this study is upon environmental concern, a mixture of the affective and cognitive domain. The purposes of the study were to test the environmental concern expressed by (a) junior college students and their parents, (b) mothers and fathers, and (c) an interviewer's estimate of and the student's actual test performance. A twenty-item instrument was constructed in attempt to measure environmental concern, which was defined as the extent to which a subject's responses reflected a commitment to improve the quality of life around him. Five of the ten items designed to be favorable toward the environment and one of the ten items designed to be unfavorable were rejected by a panel of twenty northern Illinois graduate students in Outdoor Teacher Education. Responses to the remaining fourteen items provided the central data in the study. Twenty-five male and twenty-five female junior college students were given the Environmental Concern Test (ECT) in person. The writer estimated the relative strength of the student’s environmental concern on the basis of responses to a five-item questionnaire given orally. Each of the fifty students assisted in mailing copies of the ECT to their parents; twenty-six pairs of parents responded. Specific item responses indicated that students have a relatively high regard for early outdoor education and recycling. Females appeared to outscore their male counterparts, while fathers seemed to he motivated by economic considerations in their responses. Spearman r correlations used to test the null hypotheses disclosed no significant differences in the cumulative test scores of mothers and fathers, students and mothers, or students and fathers. Female subgroup means tended to run higher than those of males. The writer did not experience success in his attempt to estimate environmental concern. Only twenty-six students of fifty were placed correctly above or below the mean. Further refinement of the test instrument and a more precise oral questionnaire appear in order before similar studies should be attempted in the area of environmental concern.
Jackson, Richard Joseph, "An analysis of the environmental concern of junior college students and their parents" (1976). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 1129.
Northern Illinois University
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