Hierarchical regression approach to quantify farm households’ pro-environmental behavior

Abstract

The conflict which exists between a households’ self-interest and pro-environmental behavior has led to emotional barriers in ecological conservation. We propose that self-construal affects preferences in this conflicting choice, and self-control plays the mediating role. This study provides conflicting decisions associated with the households’ green pesticide adoption behavior in China. Individuals were inquired to select between environmental (pro-environmental) and cost-effective (self-interested) pesticide for food security. Hierarchical regression analysis was employed to progress standard regression estimates by adding a second-stage prior regression to an ordinary model and provides a practical method to evaluate multiple exposures. The results show that the hierarchical regression model may improve environmental protection behavioral studies by including socioeconomic, demographic, and psychological factors. Moreover, our study aims to examine the mediating effect of self-control on the relationship between “self-construal” (SC) and “conflict of self-interest and pro-environmental behavior” (CIPB). Results indicate that self-control (coefficient, − 0.0739; significant level, 5%) partially mediates the relationship between SC and CIPB. Our findings suggest that compared with independent self-construal (coefficient, − 0.05; significant level, 5%), the respondents with interdependent self-construal (coefficient, − 0.09; significant level, 1%) favor pro-environmental choices as they are better in applying self-control and perform pro-environmental behavior. The finding reveals that the hierarchical regression approach provides significant advantages in studying a rural households’ pro-environmental decision-making. The current research has policy implications for the adoption of environment-friendly pesticide and organic fertilizer.

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Acknowledgments

The authors extend their sincere thanks to the editorial team of this journal and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions that have significantly improved the manuscript.

Funding

The authors extend their sincere thanks to the China Scholarship Council for funding support. The survey was sponsored by the project supported by the National Natural Social Science Foundation of China (No. 17BJY067).

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Correspondence to Hongdou Lei or Shiping Li.

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Lei, H., Khan, I. & Li, S. Hierarchical regression approach to quantify farm households’ pro-environmental behavior. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-09705-0

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Keywords

  • Food security
  • Hierarchical regression analysis
  • Pro-environmental behavior
  • Self-construal
  • Self-control
  • Self-interest