Adults’ pro-environmental behaviours and childhood experiences: the mediating role of nature connectedness, psychological ownership, and environmental knowledge

Fatemeh Shekari, Fatemeh Azizi, Zahed Ghaderi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite childhood experiences’ significant role in the pro-environmental behaviour of adults, this issue has insufficiently been addressed within the tourism and recreation context. The current study investigates how childhood nature-based recreation experiences (CHNREs) affect adults’ pro-environmental behaviours (PEBs) in nature-based recreation through connectedness to nature, psychological ownership, and environmental knowledge. It also explores the mediating role of psychological ownership in the relationship between connectedness to nature and environmental knowledge with adults’ PEBs in nature-based recreation. The study’s population included young domestic Iranian visitors to natural sites, and 503 online questionnaires were analyzed employing structural equation modelling AMOS-SEM. The findings showed a significant positive influence of childhood experience on adult PEBs and supported the mediating role of the two variables: connectedness to nature and environmental knowledge. Despite the significant positive impact of environmental knowledge and connectedness to nature on psychological ownership, the mediating role of this variable in the relationship between environmental knowledge and connectedness to nature with PEBs was not supported.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Publication statusPublished - Feb 20 2024


  • Childhood experiences
  • connectedness to nature
  • environmental knowledge
  • Iran
  • pro-environmental behaviour
  • psychological ownership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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