The Normative Route to a Sustainable Future: Examining Children's Environmental Values, Identity and Personal Norms to Conserve Energy

Nadja Zeiske*, Leonie Venhoeven, Linda Steg, Ellen van der Werff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Environmental problems could be reduced if individuals act pro-environmentally. Typically, studies have examined factors explaining pro-environmental behavior among adults, but not among children. As children are the future generations that must meet the targets set by the 2015 Paris climate agreement, it is important to understand which factors influence their engagement in pro-environmental behaviors, such as their energy saving behavior. In two correlational studies among primary and secondary school children (n(study1)= 69,n(study2)= 958), we tested if normative considerations proposed by the Value-Identity-Personal Norm (VIP) model can explain children's self-reported energy-saving behaviors. Our results revealed that in line with research among adults, children's biospheric values were related to their energy-saving self-identity, in turn associated with their personal norms to save energy. Furthermore, we found partial support for the proposed relationship between the variables of the VIP model and a range of self-reported energy-saving behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0013916520950266
Number of pages22
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19-Aug-2020


  • energy-conservation
  • children
  • values
  • self-identity
  • personal norms

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