Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Despite decades of research on environmental behavior, it is unknown how various political actors aid in the development of ecological citizenship (EC). The purpose of this correlational study was to determine the relationship between environmental worldview (NEP) and willingness to take action (WTTA) among political actors within 5 states: Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. The overarching research question examined how EC can be increased within the 5-state region by identifying the similarities and differences in NEP and WTTA between state legislators, state partners, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Bronfenbrenner's bioecological model provided the theoretical framework for the study. Out of 1,800 invited participants, 117 state legislators, 328 formal partnership directors, and 237 NGO administrators from the 5-state region participated in an online survey that measured their NEP, WTTA, and endorsement of EC principles. Nearly 20% of all respondents endorsed EC indicated by a high NEP and a high WTTA. Results of correlational analyses found a significant positive relationship between NEP and WTTA for each group. Further regression analysis found variation in group WTTA attributable to NEP varied from 32% for partnership directors and 36% for NGO administrators to 61% for state legislators. These findings indicated that EC can be affected by both private and public stakeholders. The implications for positive social change include demonstrating how state governments, in partnership with NGOs and other agencies, can increase EC within their states, and how improved partnerships can increase local opportunities to foster EC.