Environmental Behavior Among Russian Youth: The Role of Self-direction and Environmental Concern

Alexander Zibenberg, Itay Greenspan, Tally Katz-Gerro, Femida Handy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research that has tried to identify the personal values that best explain variance in pro-environmental attitudes tended to focus on biospheric and universalism values. This paper examines the importance of self-direction as a value underlying young people’s inclination to adopt pro-environmental behaviors and environmental activism. We expect that individuals who emphasize a self-direction value, which fosters creativity, motivates innovation, and promotes coping with challenges, are likely to respond in more self-directed and autonomous ways to emerging environmental practices. We analyze a sample of 600 university students surveyed in Moscow and find that biospheric and self-direction values are associated with environmental behavior and activism. Beyond the direct effect of self-direction value on pro-environmental behaviors and environmental activism we also observe a moderation effect of self-direction on the association between concern and environmental behavior. We discuss the implications of our findings for encouraging environmental action in specific contexts, similar to the one depicted in our sample.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-304
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We highly appreciate the invaluable assistance received from the Centre for Studies of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector at the National Research University, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia and its director Dr. Irina Mersianova.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Environmental activism
  • Environmental concern
  • Pro-environmental behavior
  • Self-direction
  • Values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Environmental Behavior Among Russian Youth: The Role of Self-direction and Environmental Concern'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this