Responses to a worsening environment: Relative deprivation mediates between place attachments and behaviour

Iain WALKER, Zoe Leviston, Jennifer Price, Patrick Devine-Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


Global environmental degradation creates and exacerbates social injustices. Using relative deprivation (RD) theory, we investigate whether people perceive environmental degradation in Australia, and extend RD theory by connecting it to the construct of place attachment (PA) at multiple scales. We surveyed 5163 Australians, measuring RD, PA, personal and collective environmental behaviours, and policy support. About one-third believed environmental quality is worsening and felt angry about it. We regressed each of the behaviour and policy-support measures onto the RD and PA measures. Collective environmental behaviours and policy support were more strongly predicted, in each case by RD and just one of the PA measures. RD partially mediated the association between PA and each of the behavioural measures. Responses to global environmental degradation are an admixture of injustice and place attachments at multiple scales. Efforts to promote environmentally relevant behaviours require attention to local and global attachments and identities
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-846
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


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