Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Kids teach parents to respect the environment

Date:
February 13, 2013
Source:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Summary:
A child can directly influence the attitude and behavior of their parents towards the environment without them even knowing it. Researchers have, for the first time, provided quantitative support for the suggestion that environmental education can be transferred between generations and that it can actually affect behavior.

A child can directly influence the attitude and behaviour of their parents towards the environment without them even knowing it.

This is according to a group at Imperial College London who have, for the first time, provided quantitative support for the suggestion that environmental education can be transferred between generations and that it can actually affect behaviour.

Their findings have been published February 13, in IOP Publishing's journal Environmental Research Letters.

The study took part on the Mahé Island in the Republic of Seychelles, where there is a very strong history of environmental education. The researchers based their study around the degradation of freshwater habitats in the country's wetlands, which is being caused by litter, wetland reclamation and household wastewater.

A total of 15 wildlife clubs, who each provide environmental education to children in the school system through a series of activities, took part in the study.

"School children in the Seychelles are fortunate to have a curriculum that emphasises the teaching of environmental concepts across a broad range of subjects," said lead author of the study Peter Damerell of Imperial's Department of Life Sciences.

"In addition, NGO-supported wildlife clubs are present within all education institutions and represent an opportunity to undertake more detailed and interactive activities than are possible within the classroom setting alone."

Of the 15 wildlife clubs involved in the study, seven participated in wetland activities over a 12-month period, whilst the remaining eight worked on alternative subjects; 161 students were involved overall.

Questionnaires were issued to all of the students, as well as their parents, and were based on multiple aspects of wetland knowledge, such as the different species that live in the wetlands and the threats that they're being exposed to.

The questionnaires issued to the parents also included questions on their use of water, which were specifically designed to test how conscious they were of water shortages -- there were 16 possible behaviours that a parent was scored on.

Results showed that a child's participation in the activities not only increased their parent's knowledge of the wetlands but also their behaviour -- parents were more inclined to conserve water if their child participated in the wetland activity.

It is possible that the parents had a varying amount of wetland knowledge before the study; however, they had no control over which group their child was placed in, meaning the overall differences shown between the experimental and control group can be assumed to be down to the wetlands teaching.

Indeed, the researchers tested a wide range of possible explanatory variables for the observed differences in wetland knowledge and it was those related to children receiving wetland education at Wildlife Club Seychelles that were consistently the best at explaining the observed results.

"Within this study, parents were often shown to be unaware that they were gaining environmental knowledge via their children. This finding alone highlights the need for more quantitative, experimental style investigations into the capacity of children to influence their parent's knowledge and household behaviours.

"By providing evidence that shows children can cause their parents to take up more environmental practices, we hope that many more studies will attempt to look at how much knowledge is transferred under different scenarios, and which pieces of information are most likely to change household practices," continued Damerell.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Physics (IOP). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P Damerell, C Howe, E J Milner-Gulland. Child-orientated environmental education influences adult knowledge and household behaviour. Environmental Research Letters, 2013; 8 (1): 015016 DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/1/015016

Cite This Page:

Institute of Physics (IOP). "Kids teach parents to respect the environment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212210042.htm>.
Institute of Physics (IOP). (2013, February 13). Kids teach parents to respect the environment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212210042.htm
Institute of Physics (IOP). "Kids teach parents to respect the environment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212210042.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — Big waves in parts of the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented, mainly because they used to be covered in ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) — Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) — A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) — Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins