Volume 5, Article 19

Volume 5, Article 19

Associations of pro-environmental behaviours with hedonic and eudemonic well-being among young, working adults from three European nations
Natasha Parker, Tim Kasser, Birgitta Gatersleben, and Angela Druckman

Citation: Parker, N., Kasser, T., Gatersleben, B., & Druckman, A. (2021). Associations of pro-environmental behaviours with hedonic and eudemonic well-being among young, working adults from three European nations. European Journal of Applied Positive Psychology, 5, 19, 1-13. https://www.nationalwellbeingservice.org/volumes/volume-5-2021/volume-5-article-19

Processing dates: Submitted 14th May; Resubmitted 13th August 2021; Accepted 17th August; Published 8th December 2021

Volume 5, Article 19

Abstract
Background: A growing body of research demonstrates that well-being is positively correlated with ecologically sustainable behaviours, yet there is still much to understand about the nature of this association. There is a lack of clarity in the extant research as to whether pro-environmental behaviours have a stronger or more consistent relationship with pleasure-based, hedonic well-being or with virtue-based, eudemonic well-being. It is also unclear if a third variable, materialism, which has consistently been linked to lower wellbeing and engagement in fewer pro-environmental behaviours, might explain the co-occurrence of these variables.

Method: The current study addresses these questions in a survey of young working adults across three European nations: the UK, Italy, and Hungary.

Results: The results showed that pro-environmental behaviours were positively associated with wellbeing in all three countries, including two nations (Italy and Hungary) where this relationship had not previously been studied. Pro-environmental behaviours were positively associated with both hedonic and eudemonic well-being, with no difference in the strengths of the associations. Hedonic well-being was more consistently associated with pro-environmental behaviours than was eudemonic well-being across the three nations. We found that materialism did not explain the relationship between pro-environmental behaviours and wellbeing. We also demonstrated that a range of demographic factors did not diminish the size of the relationship between pro-environmental behaviours and wellbeing.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that pro-environmental behaviours are not only compatible with wellbeing due to a virtuous sense of “doing good,” but they may be inherently pleasurable. We discuss the implications of this finding for two explanations of why well-being and pro-environmental behaviours are related.

Keywords: pro-environmental behaviours, wellbeing, materialism


EJAPP 5-19

Biographies
Natasha Parker is a PhD Researcher at the Centre for
Environment and Sustainability, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1777-0602

Tim Kasser is Emeritus Professor at the Department of Psychology, Knox College, Galesburg, USA
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4864-3630

Birgitta Gatersleben is a Reader in Environmental Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Surrey,
Guildford, UK
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5841-0577

Angela Druckman is Professor of Sustainable Consumption and Production, Centre for Environment and Sustainability,
University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2515-0369