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Environmental Concern: The Development of a Measure

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Environment and Behavior, Volume 10, p.3- (1978)



This paper reports the results of several independent investigations of the reliability and validity of the Environmental Concern Scale, a 16-item Likert scale assessing respondents' concerns about conservation and pollution issues. The scale exhibited both satisfactory internal consistency on samples drawn from a Western city and a New England town (Cronbach's alpha?.8.; Scott's Homogeneity Ratio >.26) and satisfactory stability over a six-week test-retest interval (r = .8.; p <.001). Validity data was collected in two separate studies. A known-groups comparison indicated that Sierra Club members exhibited greater concern (p < .001) and were more homogeneous (p <.02) in their environmental attitudes than a random sample of adults. The second study involved an elaborate behavioral follow-up of 44 subjects who had previously completed the attitude measure. Scores reflecting the degree of participation in a variety of ecologically relevant projects over an eight-month period were combined to form a reasonably comprehensive environmental behavior index. The correlation between scores on this index and scores on the attitude scale was quite strong (r = .6.; p <.001). The potential utility of the Environmental Concern Scale for future research is discussed.