The relationship between identity and environmental concern: A meta-analysis

Xiaobin LOU, Man Wai LI

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Identity is suggested to have profound environmental implications. However, the magnitude of the relationship between identity and environmental concern varied considerably in previous studies. As the first meta-analysis study to systematically review this topic, we followed previous conceptual discussions to evaluate the relations between four types of identity and environmental concern, which was measured by the new environmental paradigm. Results showed that environmental identity (N = 15,884; r = 0.45), pro-environmental self-identity (N = 4695; r = 0.50), relationship self-expansion identity (N = 8144; r = 0.31), and egoistic identity (N = 13,228; r = −0.10) were all associated with environmental concern. Heterogeneity among the effect sizes was partly explained by societal collectivism-individualism, such that stronger relationships of environmental and self-expansion identities with environmental concern and a weaker relationship between egoistic identity and environmental concern were found in more collectivistic societies. These findings highlight the importance of differentiating the types of identity and acknowledging the powerful moderating role of cultural contexts in environmental research. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101653
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Early online dateJul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


Lou, X., & Li, L. M. W. (2021). The relationship between identity and environmental concern: A meta-analysis. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 76. Retrieved from


  • Environmental concern
  • New environmental paradigm
  • Identity
  • Environmental identity
  • Culture


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