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Spreading the Eco-Message: Using Proactive Coping to Aid Eco-Rep Behavior Change Programming
Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Psychology, 251 Moore Bldg., University Park, PA 16802, USA
Department of Biobehavioral Health, The Pennsylvania State University, 219 Biobehavioral Health Bldg., University Park, PA 16802, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 March 2013; in revised form: 30 March 2013 / Accepted: 7 April 2013 / Published: 18 April 2013
Abstract: Making pro-environmental behavior changes can be difficult, particularly when these changes challenge daily routines and comfortable lifestyles. We designed and implemented an eco-representative intervention program to help students reduce their energy use by proactively coping with barriers to pro-environmental behavior change, and then communicate effective behavior change strategies to student peers. Twenty-nine first-year college students participated in a four-week proactive coping training to change five environmentally impactful behaviors and then spread behavior change messages to fellow residents during a two-week energy challenge. Eco-reps successfully changed their own behaviors in a pro-environmental direction by generating important barriers and successful facilitators for behavior change, and eco-rep residence halls were more likely to reduce energy and maintain reductions compared to non-eco-rep halls. Implications for future environmental behavior change interventions are discussed.
Keywords: eco-teams; proactive coping; pro-environmental behavior change; student intervention programs; residence hall competition
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Bloodhart, B.; Swim, J.K.; Zawadzki, M.J. Spreading the Eco-Message: Using Proactive Coping to Aid Eco-Rep Behavior Change Programming. Sustainability 2013, 5, 1661-1679.
Bloodhart B, Swim JK, Zawadzki MJ. Spreading the Eco-Message: Using Proactive Coping to Aid Eco-Rep Behavior Change Programming. Sustainability. 2013; 5(4):1661-1679.
Bloodhart, Brittany; Swim, Janet K.; Zawadzki, Matthew J. 2013. "Spreading the Eco-Message: Using Proactive Coping to Aid Eco-Rep Behavior Change Programming." Sustainability 5, no. 4: 1661-1679.