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Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015 places greater emphasis on protecting the planet. This responsibility to protect and preserve planet earth rests mostly with the students and youth. Therefore, it is felt necessary to examine whether the students, who are major stakeholders, are equipped with a positive attitude and behaviour towards the environment. Their attitude and behaviour largely determine the outcome of environment conservation initiatives across the globe. The present study is pertinent to the Graduate students from Arts and Science stream.
Participants of the descriptive study consisted of 60 graduate students from Urumu Dhanalakshmi College, Tiruchirappalli selected through Multi-Stage Random Sampling. Data on Environmental Attitude was collected using Environment Attitude Scale (EAS) constructed by Ugulu, Mehmet Sahin and Suleyman Baslar (2013). EAS consists of four sub-scales and 35 items with responses recorded on a four-point Likert scale, options ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree (4-Strongly agree, 1-Strongly disagree).
The mean score observed for EAS was 101.81/140 (SD = 16.50). The results showed that 28 (46.7%) students have a low attitude towards the environment. It was also drawn that Science students (n=30) (M=108, SD=11.197) have significantly higher attitude towards environment than Arts students (n=30) (M=95.63, SD=18.685) (t=3.109, p<0.05). Also, there is a significant difference between domicile and EAS scores (t=8.248, p<0.001).
The differences in attitude and behaviour towards the environment among the various social and demographic categories is a cause of concern that needs to be taken care of. The study suggests that Social Workers as change agents and social engineers have a bigger role in bringing environmental consciousness among the student community in line with the Green Social Work agenda.
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