Pro-environmental behaviours and park visitors: The effect of place attachment

  • Halpenny E
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the ability of place attachment to predict place-specific and general pro-environment behavioural intentions. The study sample (n = 355) consisted of visitors to a Canadian national park, Point Pelee National Park. The place attachment scale utilized in this study was designed to measure three subdimensions: place identity, place dependence, and place affect. Exploratory factor analysis of data measured by these scales revealed two place attachment subdimensions. Place affect, an individual's emotions and feelings for a place, acted as a more generalized or pervasive phenomenon. Place affect items loaded on both the place identity (an individual's cognitive assessment of a place) and place dependence (an individual's functional assessment of a place). Structural equation modeling confirmed the strength of place attachment's ability to predict place-related pro-environment intentions. It also identified place attachment's prediction of pro-environment behavioural intensions related to everyday life. Place identity mediated the effects of place dependence in predicting pro-environment intentions. Further research which utilizes in-depth and longitudinal case studies is suggested to explore the role of place-specific emotion and feelings, as well as place identity in fostering environmentally-responsible action as these factors are theorized to play an important role in promoting pro-environmental behaviour. Studies of place attachment to everyday settings rather than iconic national parks are also called for. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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Authors

  • Elizabeth A. Halpenny

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