Adaptation and psychometric properties of the Italian version of the Pro-Environmental Behaviours Scale (PEBS)

Abstract

Given that human behaviour is a major cause of environmental problems, psychology can play a crucial role in the efforts to deal with environmental issues. Environmentally significant behaviours (EBs) are defined as behaviours that harm the (natural) environment as little as possible or that contribute to its protection. However, psychologists often assess behaviours that are the target of interest without knowing their influence on the ecological system. The Pro-Environmental Behaviours Scale (PEBS; Markle in Hum Ecol 41:905–914, 2013) is, to our knowledge, the only scale based on empirical evidence from environmental scientific studies that covers the principal EBs categories proposed in the literature (private-sphere environmentalist, activism, and nonactivist behaviours in the public sphere). The aim of this paper is to adapt the original PEBS to the Italian context (qualitative phase) and to verify its psychometric properties (e.g. factor structure) (quantitative phase). The original scale was slightly modified following a suggestion obtained in a focus group (n = 17) and in a pilot study (n = 18). On a sample of 765 Italian adults [70% female, mean (SD) age = 41.7 (12.2), 2 missing] results revealed a 4-factor structure (conservation, environmental citizenship, food, and transportation) of the Italian PEBS, like the original version (Markle 2013), maintaining 15 of the 19 original items (CFI = .973; RMSEA = .037: WRMR = 1.047; χ2(84)  = 170.63, p < .001; explained variance = 42%). Other psychometrics properties were “good” or better. Results suggest that the Italian PEBS is a valid and reliable tool for assessing the principal EBs proposed by the literature as having a great impact on the environment.

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Appendices

Appendix A: Italian version of Pro-Environmental Behaviour Scale

1. How often do you turn off the lights when leaving a room?a [EXCLUDED]
2. How often do you switch off standby modes of appliances or electronic devices?a
3. How often do you cut down on heating or air conditioning to limit energy use?a
4. How often do you turn off the TV when leaving a room?b [EXCLUDED]
5. How often do you limit your time in the shower in order to conserve water?a
6. How often do you wait until you have a full load to use the washing machine or dishwasher?a
7. At which temperature do you wash most of your clothes?c [EXCLUDED]
8. Are you currently a member of any environmental, conservation, or wildlife protection group?d
9. During the past year have you contributed money to an environmental, conservation, or wildlife protection groupd
10. How frequently do you watch television programmes, movies, or internet videos about environmental issues?e
11. How often do you talk to others about their environmental behaviour?e
12. During the past year have you increased the amount of organically grown fruits and vegetables you consume?d
13. Please answer the following question based on the vehicle you drive most often: approximately how many kilometres per litre does the vehicle get?f
14. During the past year have you decreased the amount of beef you consume?g
15. During the past year have you decreased the amount of pork you consume?g
16. During the past year have you decreased the amount of poultry you consume?g
17. During the past year how often have you car-pooled?h [EXCLUDED]
18. During the past year how often have you used public transportation?h
19. During the past year how often have you walked or cycled instead of driving?h
  1. aValues: “never”(1), “rarely”(2), “sometimes”(3), “usually”(4), “always”(5)
  2. bValues: “never”(1), “rarely”(2), “sometimes”(3), “usually”(4), “always” (5), “I did not have a television”(5)
  3. cValues: “I do not know” (1), “hot (from 40°)” (1), “warm (about 30°–40°)” (3), “cold (less than 30°)” (5), “I do not have a washing machine” (5)
  4. dValues: “no”(1), “yes” (5)
  5. eValues: “never”(1), “rarely”(2), “sometimes”(3), “often”(4), “constantly” (5)
  6. fValues: “I do not know”(1), “10 or less”(1), “11–12”(1), “13–14”(1), “15–16”(1), “17 or more”(5), “I do not have a motor vehicle” (5)
  7. gValues: “no”(1), “yes”(5), “I do not eat beef/pork/poultry”(5)
  8. hValues: “never”(1), “occasionally”(3), “frequently”(5)

Appendix B: Original Pro-Environmental Behaviour Scale (Markle 2013)

Conservation
How often do you turn off the lights when leaving a room?a
How often do you switch off standby modes of appliances or electronic devices?a
How often do you cut down on heating or air conditioning to limit energy use?a
How often do you turn off the TV when leaving a room?a
How often do you limit your time in the shower in order to conserve water?a
How often do you wait until you have a full load to use the washing machine or dishwasher?a
At which temperature do you wash most of your clothes?b
Environmental citizenship
Are you currently a member of any environmental, conservation, or wildlife protection group?c
During the past year have you contributed money to an environmental, conservation, or wildlife protection group?c
How frequently do you watch television programmes, movies, or internet videos about environmental issues?d
How often do you talk to others about their environmental behaviour?d
During the past year have you increased the amount of organically grown fruits and vegetables you consume?c
Please answer the following question based on the vehicle you drive most often: approximately how many miles per gallon does the vehicle get?e
Food
During the past year have you decreased the amount of beef you consume?f
During the past year have you decreased the amount of pork you consume?f
During the past year have you decreased the amount of poultry you consume?f
Transportation
During the past year how often have you car-pooled?g
During the past year how often have you used public transportation?g
During the past year how often have you walked or cycled instead of driving?g
  1. aThese items used a 5-point “never”(1), “rarely”(2), “sometimes”(3), “usually”(4), “always”(5) Likert scale
  2. bThese items used a 3-point “hot” (1), “warm” (3), “cold” (5) Likert scale
  3. cValues: “no”(1), “yes” (5)
  4. dThese items used a 5-point “never”(1), “rarely”(2), “sometimes”(3), “often”(4), “constantly” (5) Likert scale
  5. eValues: “24 or less”(1), “25–29”(1), “30–34”(1), “35–39”(1), “40 or more”(5)
  6. fValues: “no”(1), “yes”(5), “I do not eat beef/pork/poultry”(5)
  7. gThese items used a 3-point “never”(1), “occasionally”(3), “frequently”(5) Likert scale

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Menardo, E., Brondino, M. & Pasini, M. Adaptation and psychometric properties of the Italian version of the Pro-Environmental Behaviours Scale (PEBS). Environ Dev Sustain 22, 6907–6930 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-019-00520-3

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Keywords

  • Pro-Environmental Behaviours
  • Italian adults
  • Confirmatory factor analysis
  • Psychometrics properties
  • Ecological behaviours