Regional Sustainability ›› 2023, Vol. 4 ›› Issue (1): 13-27.doi: 10.1016/j.regsus.2023.02.002

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Students’ sustainability consciousness with the three dimensions of sustainability: Does the locus of control play a role?

Durdana OVAIS()   

  1. Department of economics, The Bhopal School of Social Sciences, Bhopal, 462001, India
  • Received:2022-07-06 Accepted:2023-02-18 Online:2023-03-30 Published:2023-04-14
  • Contact: Durdana OVAIS


The persistent environmental problems and the growing difficulty to achieve sustainable development require a re-evaluation of person’ sustainable knowledge, attitude, and behaviour. To go to where we want to go, we must first assess where we are now. The study investigated the level of sustainability consciousness of students in India, and sustainability consciousness was expressed in sustainability knowledge, attitude, and behaviour. Sustainability consciousness was further examined using the three dimensions, such as environment, society, and economy. By drawing the perception map of students and studying the role of the locus of control, the reasons why sustainability knowledge does not appear in sustainability behaviour were analyzed. Quantitative analysis was conducted for a sample of 205 students from higher educational institutions across central India (Madhya Pradesh) from January to March in 2022. The data were analyzed using the SPSS 26 and Smart Partial Least Square (PLS) 3.0. The research revealed that sustainability attitude impacts sustainability behaviour more than sustainability knowledge. The results showed that respondents’ sustainability knowledge is higher than their sustainability attitude and behaviour. Moreover, it was discovered that economic concerns can lead to sustainability behaviour. In order to study respondents’ behaviour regarding sustainability consciousness, the study divided respondents into two groups according to the locus of control: the internal and external locus of control. It was found that most respondents thought whatever happened around them was beyond their control. Further, the locus of control influenced sustainability behaviour in groups with the internal locus of control. The study helps to explain why sustainability knowledge and attitude cannot translate into sustainability behaviour and provides a basis for achieving sustainable development. The conclusions of this study are crucial for governments, educational institutions, and organizations that empower youth to change their behaviour.

Key words: Sustainability, consciousness Sustainability knowledge Sustainability attitude Sustainability behaviour, Locus of control, Higher education