Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 844–854 | Cite as

A more fine-grained measure towards animal welfare: a study with regards to gender differences in Spanish students

  • Beatriz Mazas
  • Rosario Fernández-Manzanal
Research Article


The environmental issue is nowadays taking more importance in the environmental awareness all around the world, and in this field, animal consideration is more and more spread. A highlighted part in globalisation is the animal welfare awareness. This article presents a study comparing attitudes towards animals among secondary and university students in reference to gender. It was carried out on 1394 Spanish participants from 11 to 26 years. The instrument used in the study is the reviewed version of the Animal Welfare Attitude Scale which was renamed as “Animal Welfare Attitude-Revised Scale” (AWA-R Scale), with a Cronbach α reliability value of 0.85. It is subdivided into four components namely C1: animal abuse for pleasure or due to ignorance; C2: leisure with animals; C3: farm animals; and C4: animal abandonment. These components have been deeply detailed by a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), which highly contributes to define the position of participants for the different dimensions of animal welfare. It is concluded that significant differences exist between males’ and females’ attitudes in all components of the AWA-R Scale. It is also suggested that two social characteristics—people’s attitudes towards animals and towards environmental protection—are, at the very least, coexistent and may indeed be interdependent. These differences between gender in matters of socialisation could thus be reflected in environmental attitudes, and also in others related to them, i.e. animal welfare attitudes.


Animal welfare Animal protection Attitudes Confirmatory factor analysis Environmental education Gender differences 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad de ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Didáctica de las Ciencias ExperimentalesUniversity of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain

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