An investigation on value orientations, attitudes and concern towards the environment: the case of Turkish elementary school students

Onur A., Şahin E., Tekkaya C.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION RESEARCH, vol.18, pp.271-297, 2012 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13504622.2011.614690
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.271-297
  • Keywords: elementary school students, environmental concern, gender, value orientations, PROENVIRONMENTAL BEHAVIOR, GENDER DIFFERENCES, PERCEPTION, HEALTH, SELF


Environmental attitudes depend on the relative importance that individuals attach to themselves, other people, or all living things. These distinct bases have been found to predict environmental concern, and may act as statistically significant determinants of pro-environmental behaviours. We claim that examining the complex nature of value orientations and concern levels among elementary school students as well as the interrelationships between these attributes could guide researchers and educators in Turkey. This study aimed (1) to explore Turkish elementary students' ecocentric and anthropocentric attitudes, and environmental apathy; (2) to investigate their egoistic, altruistic and biospheric value orientations as well as their environmental concerns; (3) to examine relationships among environment-related attributes and (4) to determine the role of gender on these attributes. Participants seemed to be highly concerned and held favourable ecocentric attitudes. Furthermore, students with higher levels of anthropocentric attitudes tended to exhibit higher levels of environmental apathy, and those expressing biospheric concerns held lower levels of egoistic concerns. The findings suggest that girls were significantly more concerned about environmental problems and tended to value nature more for its own sake than boys.