Behavioral Spillover Across Health and Environmental Domains
public health behaviors
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. School of Environment and Natural Resources Undergraduate Research Theses; 2018
Existing research on behavioral spillover reveals that an intervention targeting one behavior has the potential to increase or decrease the motivation to engage in other related behaviors. Given the focus of prior spillover research is largely within one domain (e.g., environmental behaviors), it is not known if behavioral spillover occurs between health behaviors and environmental behaviors. Our research focuses on documenting positive spillover between these two domains, - which will open up an opportunity to promote environmental behaviors through health-based interventions (or vice versa). In an attempt to mend this gap in existing behavioral research, a Qualtrics survey has been developed and administered to Ohio State Undergraduate students to study the relationship between environmental and health behaviors and the existence of shared motivations that may lead to positive spillover. Specifically, we proposed that positive spillover between the two behavioral domains would occur for easy behaviors when the individual has strong and positive attitudes toward both the environment and personal health behaviors. Data collection and analysis presented correlations between these domains but not in a Mediation, Moderator model used to interpret causal pathways. This research has significant implications for society at large because individual health frames resonate for most people as a reason to act to address environmental issues. If we can document ways to establish positive spillover between health and environmental behaviors, this would help us understand how to better promote change in the environmental domain. Specifically, we could then increase pro-environmental behaviors by promoting healthy behaviors more generally, increasing- positive, collective environmental outcomes in addition to personal health outcomes.
Academic Major: Political Science
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