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Predicting Pro-environmental Behavioural Intentions of Front-Country Campers Open Access


Other title
Pro-environmental Behaviour
Self-determination Theory
Theory of Planned Behaviour
Outdoor Recreation
Comprehensive Theory
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Moghimehfar, Farhad
Supervisor and department
Halpenny, Elizabeth (Physical Education and Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
Schneider, Ingrid (Forest Resources, University of Minnesota)
Hvenegaard, Glen (Augustana Campus)
Harshaw, Howard (Physical Education and Recreation)
Walker, Gordon (Physical Education and Recreation)
Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The aim of this dissertation was to predict people’s pro-environmental behaviour during outdoor recreation activities, specifically front-country camping. Based on the literature of social psychology, environmental psychology, and leisure studies, major predictors of human behaviour were identified. Different associations among these variables were hypothesized and tested by data obtained from a sample of 1,009 front-country campers in Alberta, Canada. Structural equation modeling was the main data analysis technique in this dissertation. These variables and associations among them framed three separate studies: The first study in this dissertation (Chapter 2) extended the theory of planned behaviour by adding pro-environmental behaviour constraints to the theory. The influence of cognitive and behavioural strategies people utilize to negotiate their constraints were also explored in this study. Results of structural equation modeling confirmed a strong, negative indirect association between constraints and pro-environmental behavioural intention. Negotiation was positively and indirectly associated with intention. The proposed extension to the TPB explained a considerable amount of the variation in intention. The second study (Chapter 3) examined different structural models of associations among constraints to pro-environmental behaviour, negotiation through these constraints, motivations to engage in pro-environmental behaviour, and knowledge of pro-environmental camping. A three dimensions approach to the study of constraints was employed to obtain a more detailed understanding of constraints to pro-environmental behaviour. Three different structural models were developed and tested. Two of the proposed models were supported by the data. Results showed that constraints negatively and directly influence intention. Negotiation through constraints and knowledge of pro-environmental camping positively and directly influenced intention. Motivation and knowledge directly and negatively influenced constraints and directly and positively influenced negotiation. Hypothesized associations between constraints and negotiation (i.e., from constraints to negotiation and vice versa) in the structural models were supported by the data. The theoretical and practical implications relating specifically to constraints to engaging in pro-environmental behaviour were emphasized. The third study in this dissertation (Chapter 4) proposed a comprehensive theory to predict pro-environmental behaviour during camping. Important human behaviour predictors identified in the pro-environmental behaviour literature were employed to develop this theory. The theory of planned behaviour, self-determination theory, leisure constraints theory, and constraint negotiation theory guided the development of the measurement scales and hypothesized associations among the predictors of behaviour. Structural equation modeling supported the proposed associations and the data found to be a good fit with the model. The theory of planned behaviour’s predictors of intention mediated the associations between all the predictors in the model and intention. Antecedent to these variables, constraints, negotiation, knowledge, motivation, and past behaviour indirectly influenced pro-environmental intentions. Overall, the proposed theory explained a substantial portion of variance in intention. The associations among the predictors of pro-environmental behaviour and our findings’ implications were discussed. The overall findings, theoretical and practical implications, limitations of these studies, and future research avenues are summarized in the Chapter 5.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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