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Intergenerational environmental communication: child influence on parent environmental and behavior

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Straub, Crista L. (main author), Leahy, Jessica E. (author)
Online journal article
Publication Date:
USA: American Society of Agronomy
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
attitudes, children, communication analysis, communities, education research, educational strategies, environmental communication, environmental education, influences, information needs, perceptions, water quality, families, environmental concerns, environmental issues, family communication, intergenerational
9 pages., Via online journal., Intergenerational environmental communication (IGEC) was examined using pre- and post-survey research after child participation in a groundwater environmental education (EE) program. The EE program increased child knowledge, but did not significantly increase parent knowledge. There was also a significant difference between perceived levels of environmental communication (EC) between child and parent, with parents indicating higher levels of EC than their children. Participants reporting low EC levels had significantly less interest in, concern for, or knowledge about environmental issues. Several key factors initiated IGEC between children and their parents, including saving household money by changing environmental behaviors, exposure to media sources that reported environmental news, and school activities such as homework related to environmental issues. Environmental educators should be cautious when implementing EE programs, as additional considerations are essential to determine what influence, if any, child participants have beyond the classroom. Continued research is needed to increase EC between children and their parents with the hope of improving intergenerational approaches to environmental issues.