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Pro-environmental behaviours and attitudes are associated with health, wellbeing and life satisfaction in multiple occupancy households in the UK Household Longitudinal Study

Abstract

Pro-environmental behaviours (PEBs) and attitudes (PEAs) may influence different domains of health and wellbeing through several mechanisms. The household plays an important role in this relationship; however, there is no previous research on household level PEBs or the PEAs of other household members in relation to health and wellbeing. We used data from 22,427 people in 9344 multiple occupancy households in the UK Household Longitudinal Study. Explanatory variables were household level PEBs, individual PEAs and PEAs of other household members. We used five common physical and mental health and wellbeing outcome measures. Household PEBs were associated with higher life satisfaction. Individual PEAs were associated with lower life satisfaction and worse mental health. PEAs of other household members were associated with higher physical health, mental health and life satisfaction scores for all outcome measures. Findings suggest that ‘greener’ households can produce a ‘win-win’ result for the environment and public health.

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Acknowledgements

We acknowledge with gratitude the study participants of the UK Household Longitudinal Study.

Author information

Correspondence to Paul Watts.

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The Understanding Society study was approved by the University of Essex Ethics Committee and the National Research Ethics Service. No additional ethical approval was necessary for this secondary data analysis.

Disclaimer

Understanding Society is an initiative funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and various Government Departments, with scientific leadership by the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, and survey delivery by NatCen Social Research and Kantar Public. The research data are distributed by the UK Data Service.

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Netuveli, G., Watts, P. Pro-environmental behaviours and attitudes are associated with health, wellbeing and life satisfaction in multiple occupancy households in the UK Household Longitudinal Study. Popul Environ (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11111-020-00337-7

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Keywords

  • Environment
  • Behaviour; attitudes
  • Household
  • Health