Date of Completion

Spring 5-10-2013

Thesis Advisor(s)

Blair T. Johnson

Honors Major



Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology | Social Psychology


Environmental responsibility has become an increasing concern in today's world. "Green" practices have become the norm with a growth in recycling options on school campuses and in cities, emissions restrictions for cars, and many brands positioning themselves as eco-friendly. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there are gender differences regarding pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors among college students as predicted by socialization and social role theories, ecofeminism, and social norms. Participants were 313 University of Connecticut students (124 male, 189 female) who took part in an online survey measuring their attitudes towards the environment and conservation behavior. This study found that pro-environmental attitudes did affect pro-environmental behaviors, with females reporting more favorable and appreciative attitudes towards the environment. Students perceived that they recycled and conserved more than other students and friends both at home and on campus. They, however, perceived their recycling and conservation habits on campus to be less than their family’s, but nearly the same at home. Individuals were also influenced by social norms of their family, friends, and other students’ perceived pro-ecological behaviors. Family, friends, and other students significantly influenced pro-environmental behaviors both at home and on campus, with family acting as the most influential referent. This study replicated previous research as well as contributed to current literature on pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors.