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Environmental concern, self-concept and defence style. A study of the Agenda 21 process in a Swedish municipality

  • Marianne Lindström
  • Per Johnsson
Publishing year: 2003
Language: English
Pages: 51-66
Publication/Series: Environmental Education Research
Volume: 9
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Abstract english

The experience of working with Agenda 21 was investigated among child care personnel in a small Swedish municipality. The main aim was to study the correlation between environmental concern and personality. It was hypothesised that people caring about the environment would have a positive self-concept and use an adaptive defence style. The result showed that personal concern ( r =0.42, p =0.000), perceived control ( r =0.29, p =0.003) and intention to act ( r =0.31, p =0.001) were all correlated to self-reported ecological behaviour. Though the child care personnel believed that they had little influence on the environmental issues, their own contributions towards improving the environment were experienced as meaningful. They had a positive self-concept and they cared about the environment, even if no correlation ( r =0.08) could be found between environmental concern and self-concept. On the other hand, a positive correlation existed between perceived control and the use of an adaptive defence style ( r =0.26, p =0.019). It was concluded that feedback from politicians and officials by encouraging the child care personnel's feelings of empowerment and provid ing them with possibilities for action would most likely increase their feelings of influence and move the Agenda 21 process ahead


  • Engineering and Technology
  • Psychology


  • ISSN: 1469-5871
Per Johnsson psykologi samhällsvetenskapliga institutionen
E-mail: per [dot] johnsson [at] psy [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Department of Psychology

+46 46 222 87 71