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Environmental attitudes: A structural developmental model

Jill M Greenwald, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Women's attitudes concerning their understanding of and relationship to the environment were explored in relation to Robert Kegan's structural clinical-developmental model of ego development, using a randomly selected sample of 27 women between the ages of 40 and 49 from a Massachusetts town. Ways of thinking about the environment were differentiated qualitatively according to ego stage. Extended illustrations of stage distinctions focused on the women's feelings of relationship/connection to the environment, including the impact of religion and spirituality on their attitudes, and on their presented rationale for their environmentally related behaviors. Several additional measures were utilized to explore related questions quantitatively, including the following: Is concern for the external environment related to one's treatment of the internal environment--that is, personal, physical health? Environmental concern as measured by Weigel and Weigel's Environmental Concern Scale was significantly correlated with self-reported personal health care behaviors. Will age be related to ego stage? Within this sample of women in their 40's, age was significantly negatively correlated with ego stage. Explanations for this negative correlation are discussed within a historical context. In conclusion, educational implications and relevance to clinical practice are discussed.

Subject Area

Psychotherapy|Developmental psychology|Environmental science

Recommended Citation

Greenwald, Jill M, "Environmental attitudes: A structural developmental model" (1992). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9233065.