Dimensions of environmental policy support in the United States

Carman, C.J. (1998) Dimensions of environmental policy support in the United States. Social Science Quarterly, 79(4), pp. 717-733.

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Objective: Previous research has been unable to arrive at a consensus on the latent structure of environmental concern, yet without a grasp of the dimensionality of environmental concern our understanding of environmental policy support is necessarily limited. This research takes a different tack on this question by seeking to arrive at an understanding of the underlying dimensional nature of environmental policy support in the United States. Methods. This study analyzes a battery of questions from the National Election Study 1995 pilot. I use exploratory factor analysis, structural equations with maximum likelihood estimation (via EQS}, and OLS regression to determine the statistical and substantive characteristics of the latent structure of environmental policy support. Results. Environmental policy support is shown to hold a monarchia! hierarchical structure, where the second-order factor, environmental policy support, is comprised of three subdimensions. Further, I demonstrate that a substantive difference exists between these dimensions, as they are predicted by differing exogenous variables. Conclusions. 1 show environmental policy support to be a complex, multidimensional, and multilevel set of attitudes. Further, tbis research has Implications for the environmental justice literature as it demonstrates that external efficacy and race are significant predictors of (only) the environmental quality assessment dimension. Though previous research has established the importance of environmcntalism in the social and political reahns, it has left the question unsettled as to whether environmental concern is a unidimensional concept or an attitude comprised of a complex set of subdimensions. Yet, without a grasp of the latent structure of environmental concern, our understanding of environmental attitudes and their relevance for public policy is necessarily limited. This study attempts to fill this gap in analyzing the structure of support for environmental policy in the United States.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Carman, Professor Christopher
Authors: Carman, C.J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Social Science Quarterly

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