Earth mothers (and fathers): examining generativity and environmental concerns in adolescents and their parents

Journal of Moral Education 42 (1):12-27 (2012)
Erikson?s construct of generative concern for future generations seems a plausible structure for supporting environmental behavior and socialization in the family. The present study of 44 Canadian middle-class families with a focal child aged 14?16 years, examined variations in generative concern among parents and their children and tested how such variations were related to differences in environmental values and behaviors in the family, as measured by a number of standard and novel scales and self-reports. Results showed that adolescent generative concern on the Loyola Generativity Scale predicted positively adolescent environmental and prosocial behaviors and was, in turn, predicted by an authoritative parenting style and maternal generative concern. Furthermore, an emphasis on environmental-socialization values and practices by parents was associated positively with higher parent-generativity scores, and parents? environmental actions and values, in turn, predicted adolescent behaviors. This study provides preliminary support for the role of generative concern in supporting environmental socialization in the family context
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