Date of Award
PhD Leadership Studies
Fred J. Galloway, EdD Chair; Laura J. Deitrick, PhD Member; Hans P. Schmitz, PhD Member
Consumer Food Waste, Theory of Planned Behavior, School Based Interventions, Demographic Factors in Food Waste, Environmental Concerns
Environmental problems such as pollution, climate change, and food waste can be influenced by social attitudes and human behavior. Solutions to address environmental problems involve a series of actions by society and individuals, which can prove difficult to implement because changes induced by pro-environmental behavior often cannot be seen immediately by individuals or may not generate appreciable, direct benefits. The purposes of the quantitative correlational study are threefold: first, examine environmental attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and overall behavioral intent to reduce household consumer food waste among a sample of consumers; second, to examine the extent to which select demographic measures can explain variation in the three subdimensions of the behavioral intent to reduce household consumer food waste (i.e. environmental attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control); and finally, to examine the extent to which these select demographics can explain variation in the overall behavioral intent to reduce household consumer food waste construct. Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior (TPB) provided the theoretical framework. Data were collected from a stratified sample of 200 individuals with at least three household members responsible for food purchases. Household size, educational attainment, and race/ethnicity were significant predictors of behavioral intent to reduce food waste. For behavioral intent (TPB total score) to reduce food waste, household size was negatively correlated, and only Whites were positively correlated; taken together household size (9.7%) and race-White (2.9%) accounted for 12.1% of the variation in TPB total score. Household size (5.5%) and high school education (2.5%) together accounted for 8.9% of the variation in behavioral intent to reduce food waste. Finally, annual household income over $162,000 (12.7%), age (12.2%), Asian-race (3.3%), and gender-female (0.9%) for a total explained variation in food waste percentage of 29.3%. Taken together with household income, findings suggested younger, wealthier households with children were most likely to waste food. For this final model, the explained variation in food waste percentage accounted for by demographic variables was substantially higher than all other dependent variables by more than a factor of two. Recommendations to reduce consumer food waste interventions focused on school-based interventions, socio-demographic-based public service messaging.
Dissertation: Open Access
Digital USD Citation
Hubinger, David, "Understanding Food Waste Behavior and Ways To Influence Positive Change and Waste Reduction" (2022). Dissertations. 926.
Copyright held by the author