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Data from: Conservation concern among Australian undergraduates is associated with childhood socio-cultural experiences

Citation

Pinder, Jessica; Fielding, Kelly; Fuller, Richard A. (2020), Data from: Conservation concern among Australian undergraduates is associated with childhood socio-cultural experiences, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.wdbrv15kn

Abstract

Fostering widespread concern for conservation problems requires a robust understanding of the life experiences that positively contribute to an individual's conservation attitudes and behaviours. However, few studies have assessed a comprehensive range of social and experiential predictors of conservation concern. Using survey responses from 391 undergraduate students enrolled in various course disciplines across Australia, we describe the relationship between five major constructs of early-life experiences and two measures of conservation concern: a preference for conservation career, and positive conservation attitudes. We find that conservation career preferences are positively associated with childhood preferences for nature-related books, movies and school subjects, biospheric family value orientations and environmental volunteering. Conseravtion attitudes were postitively associated with biospheric family value orientations and environmental volunteering. Both constructs were negatively associated with egoistic family values, and childhood experiences in nature were not a significant factor in either of our models. This suggests that limited nature experiences do not necessarily impede the development of conservation concern in young Australians, which was strongly related to the values of their immediate family and their experiences with environmental organisations, nature-related storylines and school subjects.

Methods

This dataset was collected in accordance with the National Statement of Ethical conduct in Human Research ethics under the guidelines and processes of the University of Queensland Human Research Ethics Approval (2018/001857). Researchers approached participants through social media by accessing university groups over Facebook. Between 27 September and 14 October 2018, 500 Austrlaian undergraduate students responded to our questionnaire via SurveyMonkey.

Usage Notes

While the focus of our research was nature-related experiences and conservation behaviour, this dataset collated information on a wide variety early-life experiences (across 5 domains of nature exposure, education, organisations, cultural narratives and family values) and surveyed students from a broad range of course disciplines including health and law.