Do All Dimensions of Sustainable Consumption Lead to Psychological Well-Being? Empirical Evidence from Young Consumers

Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 33 (1):145-170 (2020)
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Abstract

AbstarctThis research responds to the call for a greater understanding of how sustainable consumption leads to quality of life. Previous studies have not yielded conclusive evidence regarding whether individuals’ sustainable consumption promotes well-being. We theorize that both well-being and sustainable consumption should be conceptualized and measured as multi-faceted constructs to reconcile and understand the contradictory previous findings. This study examines the association between three dimensions of sustainable consumption: purchasing, simplifying and activism, and the six markers of psychological well-being in a sample of 423 young consumers. The findings show that the relationship between sustainable consumption and happiness is more intricate than depicted in previous studies. Happiness is mainly derived from simplifying behaviors, whereas engaging in activist behaviors is associated with lower levels of psychological well-being. Understanding the relationship between SC and well-being may help leverage points of action to support sustainable consumers and persuade more young consumers to embrace this lifestyle.

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