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Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 750; doi:10.3390/su9050750

Because My Friends Insist or Because It Makes Sense? Adolescents’ Motivation towards the Environment

Research unit Edbron, Department of Training and Education Sciences, University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
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Academic Editor: Ingo Eilks
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 23 April 2017 / Accepted: 2 May 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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Abstract

We present the results of a study that focuses in on issues of validity of the motivation towards the environment scale (MTES) in the context of Flanders (the Flemish-speaking community in Belgium). The instrument was developed almost two decades ago in Canada, and is designed to measure the self-determined motivation of people for performing pro-environmental behaviors, but has not yet been applied widely to different contexts. Here, we use a sample of 1730 grade 12 students from 71 schools across Flanders, to focus on specific issues concerning the validity of the MTES in the context of Flanders. We deal with its construct validity, through the estimation of a confirmatory factor analysis. Next, we test the reliability of the MTES and the hypothesized simplex structure by calculating intercorrelations between all six MTES subscales. External validity of the MTES is addressed by correlating the subscales to well-established environmental psychological constructs, such as the models of two major environmental values, the connectedness to nature scale, and the general ecological behavior scale. Finally, we also look at the discriminative validity of the MTES by testing gender differences in self-determined motivations towards the environment. Overall, our results confirm that the MTES is a valid and reliable instrument that can also be used outside the cultural context within which it was developed, to measure the diverse motivations of (young) people to engage in environmental behavior. View Full-Text
Keywords: MTES; motivation; self-determination; adolescents MTES; motivation; self-determination; adolescents
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Boeve-de Pauw, J.; Van Petegem, P. Because My Friends Insist or Because It Makes Sense? Adolescents’ Motivation towards the Environment. Sustainability 2017, 9, 750.

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