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Which Character Strengths Are Focused on the Well-Being of Others? Development and Initial Validation of the Environmental Self-Efficacy Scale: Assessing Confidence in Overcoming Barriers to Pro-environmental Behavior


Moeller, Bryton L; Stahlmann, Alexander G (2019). Which Character Strengths Are Focused on the Well-Being of Others? Development and Initial Validation of the Environmental Self-Efficacy Scale: Assessing Confidence in Overcoming Barriers to Pro-environmental Behavior. Journal of Well-Being Assessment, 3(2-3):123-135.

Abstract

Character strengths are assumed to contribute not only to an individual’s well-being but also to communal thriving, citizenship, and the well-being of others. In particular, they can be assumed to contribute to an individual’s confidence in overcoming barriers to pro-environmental behavior. This confidence, environmental self-efficacy, has primarily been measured in the context of specific behaviors (e.g. recycling). In this study, we developed a broad measure of environmental self-efficacy: the Environmental Self-Efficacy Scale (ESE20) and a derivative short version (ESE10). Through an online survey, two convenience samples completed assessments of environmental self-efficacy, generalized self-efficacy, and character strengths (NC = 224) as well as environmental self-efficacy and psychological barriers to pro-environmental behavior (NV = 169). Both ESE20 and ESE10 demonstrated unidimensionality, reliably captured environmental self-efficacy, and put forward medium to large positive relationships with generalized self-efficacy. The scales further yielded small to medium negative relationships with the psychological barriers Change Unnecessary, Conflicting Goals and Aspirations, Lacking Knowledge, and Tokenism. The character strengths zest and leadership sustained the numerically strongest relationships with environmental self-efficacy (medium positive effects) and generalized self-efficacy (large positive effects). Kindness, humility, prudence, fairness, and forgiveness were only related to environmental self-efficacy (small to medium positive effects), but not to generalized self-efficacy. These five strengths can hence be assumed to be other-focused and to specifically contribute to the well-being of others.

Abstract

Character strengths are assumed to contribute not only to an individual’s well-being but also to communal thriving, citizenship, and the well-being of others. In particular, they can be assumed to contribute to an individual’s confidence in overcoming barriers to pro-environmental behavior. This confidence, environmental self-efficacy, has primarily been measured in the context of specific behaviors (e.g. recycling). In this study, we developed a broad measure of environmental self-efficacy: the Environmental Self-Efficacy Scale (ESE20) and a derivative short version (ESE10). Through an online survey, two convenience samples completed assessments of environmental self-efficacy, generalized self-efficacy, and character strengths (NC = 224) as well as environmental self-efficacy and psychological barriers to pro-environmental behavior (NV = 169). Both ESE20 and ESE10 demonstrated unidimensionality, reliably captured environmental self-efficacy, and put forward medium to large positive relationships with generalized self-efficacy. The scales further yielded small to medium negative relationships with the psychological barriers Change Unnecessary, Conflicting Goals and Aspirations, Lacking Knowledge, and Tokenism. The character strengths zest and leadership sustained the numerically strongest relationships with environmental self-efficacy (medium positive effects) and generalized self-efficacy (large positive effects). Kindness, humility, prudence, fairness, and forgiveness were only related to environmental self-efficacy (small to medium positive effects), but not to generalized self-efficacy. These five strengths can hence be assumed to be other-focused and to specifically contribute to the well-being of others.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:1 December 2019
Deposited On:27 Aug 2020 13:03
Last Modified:27 Aug 2020 13:03
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:2509-4629
Additional Information:This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in "Journal of Well-Being Assessment". The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s41543-019-00023-y
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s41543-019-00023-y

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