Environmental attitudes and behaviors among secondary students in Hong Kong

Liz JACKSON, Ming Fai PANG, Emma BROWN, Sean CAIN, Caroline DINGLE, Timothy BONEBRAKE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - Although researchers have identified correlations between specific attitudes and particular behaviors in the pro-environmental domain, the general relationship between young people’s development of environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors is not well understood. Past research indicates that geographic context can play a role, while social factors such as age and gender can have a more significant impact on predicting attitudes and behaviors than formal education. Few studies have systematically examined the relationships between education and environmental attitudes and behaviors among youth in Hong Kong. The purpose of this paper is to report the findings of a study comparing secondary school students’ environmental attitudes and behaviors with age and related factors in two international schools and two government schools in Hong Kong. Students’ attitudes and behaviors were compared based on school type (curriculum), while the authors additionally compared the significance of social factors and attitudes on students’ behaviors.
Design/methodology/approach - Attitudes were measured using the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) and the NEP for Children (NEPC), the most commonly used, internationally standardized tools for investigating environmental attitudes and values of adults and young people for comparative purposes. The authors compared NEP/NEPC scores and student self-reported environmental behaviors using a short questionnaire.
Findings - No significant differences were found in attitudes or behaviors based on school type. However the authors did observe a significant effect of gender and age on students’ attitudes, and a significant correlation of student attitudes in the NEP with students’ self-reports regarding air conditioning consumption.
Originality/value - This study builds a foundation for cross-national studies and for evaluating the impact of curricula over time. Copyright © 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-80
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative Education and Development
Issue number2
Early online date09 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Jackson, L., Pang, M. F., Brown, E., Cain, S., Dingle, C., & Bonebrake, T. (2016). Environmental attitudes and behaviors among secondary students in Hong Kong. International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, 18(2), 70-80. doi: 10.1108/IJCED-10-2015-0004


  • Hong Kong
  • Environmental attitudes
  • Student attitudes
  • Education for sustainable development
  • Environmental education
  • Environmental behaviour


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