How Perceived Exposure to Environmental Harm Influences Environmental Behavior in Urban China
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- Chen, X., Peterson, M.N., Hull, V. et al. AMBIO (2013) 42: 52. doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0335-9
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Rapid environmental degradation in China makes understanding how perceived exposure to environmental harm influences environmental attitudes and participation in pro-environmental behaviors among the Chinese people crucial. We used a nation-wide survey dataset in urban China to test two hypotheses: experiencing environmental harm directly affects environmental behavior; environmental attitudes mediate the relationship between experiencing environmental harm and environmental behavior. We found respondents who experienced environmental harm had more pro-environmental attitudes. Experiencing environmental harm positively influenced pro-environmental behavior both directly and indirectly through the mediation of pro-environmental attitudes. Among the pro-environmental behaviors, environmental litigation was most strongly related with exposure to environmental harm. Our results suggest that more participation in pro-environmental behaviors may be expected as rapid economic development increases public exposure to environmental harm in urban China.