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Self-perceived action competence for sustainability: The theoretical grounding and empirical validation of a novel research instrument
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7976-4860
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8735-2102
University of Antwerp, Belgium.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3573-1423
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8496-096x
2020 (English)In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, p. 1-20Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This study contributes to an operationalization of the concept of action competence for sustainability through the theoretical development and empirical validation of a new 12-item Likert-scale questionnaire: the Self-Perceived Action Competence for Sustainability Questionnaire, SPACS-Q. Other scales in environmental and sustainability education (ESE) typically measure concepts such as pro-environmental and sustainability attitudes and behaviors, and therefore do not fully cover the concept of action competence for sustainability. An action differs from a 'mere' behavior in that it is voluntary and targeted at bringing about change, which is the overarching goal of ESE. We define action competence as a latent capacity among individuals to act sustainably. We introduce a novel scale measuring this seminal concept. Totally, 614 Swedish adolescents aged 12-19 participated in this study. The scale includes three latent subconstructs: i) knowledge of action possibilities, ii) confidence in one's own influence, and iii) the willingness to act. Confirmatory factor analyses, reliability measures and investigation of convergent validity reveal a questionnaire instrument with excellent psychometric quality. We put forward that the SPACS-Q is a novel and theory-driven, empirically reliable and valid, instrument, and encourage fellow researchers to use the SPACS-Q when investigating people's action competence for sustainability in various contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2020. p. 1-20
Keywords [en]
Action competence, scale validation, sustainability, questionnaire development, psychometric
National Category
Educational Sciences Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology; Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-77506DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2020.1736991ISI: 000519428400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-77506DiVA, id: diva2:1425898
Available from: 2020-04-23 Created: 2020-04-23 Last updated: 2020-05-20Bibliographically approved

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Olsson, DanielGericke, NiklasBoeve-de Pauw, Jelle

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