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Environmental Concern, Patterns of Television Viewing, and Pro-Environmental Behaviors
Unformatted Document Text:  TV-Environment 10 recycle everything I possibly can.” The three observed measures form a reliable index (1999, α = .65, avg. inter- item r = .374, p < .001; 2000, α = .63, avg. inter-tem r = .357, p < .001). 3 Multiple measures for television entertainment viewing were created from a total of 13 dichotomous items measuring the use of specific programs. Exploratory factor analyses (Principle Axis, OBLIMIN) conducted independently for each survey revealed three consistently articulated factors: Situation comedies (Friends, Fraiser, Third Rock from the Sun, Dharma and Greg, Drew Carey, Everybody Loves Raymond; 1999, α = .67; 2000, α = .69); progressive dramas (NYPD Blue, ER, Law & Order, Chicago Hope; 1999, α = .63; 2000, α = .65); and traditional dramas (Touched by an Angel, Promised Land, Walker, Texas Ranger; 1999, α = .62, avg. inter-item r = .354, p < .001; 2000, α =.59, avg. inter-item r = .323, p < .001). Each of these forms of prime-time entertainment television use has been shown to have individual-level effects in the socio-political arena (Authors, in press). A single index was formed to create public affairs television use. This index consists of three dichotomous television use items: local television news, national television news, and news interview programs (1999, α = .62, avg. inter-item r = .349, p < .001; 2000, α = .63, avg. inter-item r = .358, p < .001). We also included a single dichotomous measure of television nature documentary use. The final endogenous variable is an attitudinal measure of individual-level environmental concern. The study of the relationship between environmental concern and environmental behaviors is a well-established line of research (e.g., Diekmann & Preisendorfer, 1998). Individual-level perceptions of environmental concern focus on the immediate influences of the environment on oneself and those most immediate to you (Axelrod & Lehman, 1993). This is a single-item measure where respondents were asked to rate on a six-point scale their level of agreement or disagreement with the following statement: “I worry a lot about the effects of environmental pollution on my family’s health.” Exogenous variables. We included the standard set of four demographic variables: Age, sex, education, and income. Each of these demographic variables has been shown to be predictors of environmental behaviors, but the findings are mixed across studies (see Olli, Grendstad, & Wollebauk, 2001 for summary). In addition to these controls, we also included a dichotomous demographic variable of race (African-American coded high). The study of “environmental racism” is an ever-expanding line of research (e.g., Camacho, 1998), and special attention has been given to the plight of African-Americans and the lack of environmental pollution controls in the inner-city areas they often inhabit.

Authors: Holbert, R. Lance., Kwak, Nojin. and Shah, Dhavan.
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TV-Environment 10
recycle everything I possibly can.” The three observed measures form a reliable index (1999,
α
= .65, avg. inter-
item r = .374, p < .001; 2000,
α
= .63, avg. inter-tem r = .357, p < .001).
3
Multiple measures for television entertainment viewing were created from a total of 13 dichotomous items
measuring the use of specific programs. Exploratory factor analyses (Principle Axis, OBLIMIN) conducted
independently for each survey revealed three consistently articulated factors: Situation comedies (Friends, Fraiser,
Third Rock from the Sun, Dharma and Greg, Drew Carey, Everybody Loves Raymond; 1999,
α
= .67; 2000,
α
=
.69); progressive dramas (NYPD Blue, ER, Law & Order, Chicago Hope; 1999,
α
= .63; 2000,
α
= .65); and
traditional dramas (Touched by an Angel, Promised Land, Walker, Texas Ranger; 1999,
α
= .62, avg. inter-item r =
.354, p < .001; 2000,
α
=.59, avg. inter-item r = .323, p < .001). Each of these forms of prime-time entertainment
television use has been shown to have individual-level effects in the socio-political arena (Authors, in press).
A single index was formed to create public affairs television use. This index consists of three dichotomous
television use items: local television news, national television news, and news interview programs (1999,
α
= .62,
avg. inter-item r = .349, p < .001; 2000,
α
= .63, avg. inter-item r = .358, p < .001). We also included a single
dichotomous measure of television nature documentary use.
The final endogenous variable is an attitudinal measure of individual-level environmental concern. The
study of the relationship between environmental concern and environmental behaviors is a well-established line of
research (e.g., Diekmann & Preisendorfer, 1998). Individual-level perceptions of environmental concern focus on
the immediate influences of the environment on oneself and those most immediate to you (Axelrod & Lehman,
1993). This is a single-item measure where respondents were asked to rate on a six-point scale their level of
agreement or disagreement with the following statement: “I worry a lot about the effects of environmental pollution
on my family’s health.”
Exogenous variables. We included the standard set of four demographic variables: Age, sex, education,
and income. Each of these demographic variables has been shown to be predictors of environmental behaviors, but
the findings are mixed across studies (see Olli, Grendstad, & Wollebauk, 2001 for summary). In addition to these
controls, we also included a dichotomous demographic variable of race (African-American coded high). The study
of “environmental racism” is an ever-expanding line of research (e.g., Camacho, 1998), and special attention has
been given to the plight of African-Americans and the lack of environmental pollution controls in the inner-city
areas they often inhabit.


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