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Title: Energy behaviours of northern California Girl Scouts and their families

Climate change is likely the most critical societal challenge to the futures of today's children. Mitigation will require a concerted effort to change household energy behaviour electricity use, transportation and food consumption patterns. A first step to changing behaviour is to better understand current behaviour and its intrapersonal (knowledge and attitudes), interpersonal (norms, communication and behaviour) and contextual (demographics and geography) correlates. To date, our understanding of the energy behaviours of children is limited. To begin to fill this gap, we report the results of a survey on the electricity, transportation and food-related energy behaviours of 323 fourth- and fifth-grade girls and their parents in 31 Girl Scout troops in Northern California. Our findings show positive attitudes and perceived norms toward energy-saving behaviours among child and adult respondents, but low or moderate levels of knowledge, communication, and behaviour, particularly for behaviours that require adult assistance. Girls' choices about electricity behaviours appear to be governed by intrapersonal and interpersonal influences, while transportation behaviour is constrained by geographic context. Food-related behaviour, particularly meat consumption, was not readily modelled. Policy and education-related implications for future interventions aimed at enhancing children's energy-saving behaviours are discussed. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Energy Policy; Journal Volume: 73
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
Country of Publication:
United States