Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Environmental concern over time: evidence from the longitudinal analysis of a British cohort study from 1991 to 2008

Melis, Gabriella and Elliot, Mark and Shryane, Nick (2014): Environmental concern over time: evidence from the longitudinal analysis of a British cohort study from 1991 to 2008. Published in: Social Science Quarterly , Vol. 4, No. 95 (2014): pp. 905-919.

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Abstract

Objective We examined whether and how levels of environmental concern changed over time in the UK, from 1991 to 2008-2009, as well as how environmental concern relates to socio-economic characteristics across this same time frame. Methods Using item response theory models on the last three sweeps of the British National Child Development Study 1958, we evaluated a measure of environmental concern. Then, using latent growth curve models (LGCM) we estimated the pattern of change for environmental concern across time. Finally, theoretically relevant socio-demographic characteristics were introduced as covariates into the LGCM. Results We found a small but significant downfall of the mean level of environmental concern over time, with individual-level values displaying higher dispersion in 2008-2009 against the previous sweeps of data. We also found that political orientation has significant effects on the outcome and on its changes across time. Conclusions Hypotheses regarding the influence of interest in politics and voting choices on environmental concern are supported. The increasing variance of environmental concern over time warrants further investigation.

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