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Journal Article

Dimensions of Environmental Policy Support in the United States

Christopher Jan Carman
Social Science Quarterly
Vol. 79, No. 4 (December 1998), pp. 717-733
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42863843
Page Count: 17
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Dimensions of Environmental Policy Support in the United States
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Abstract

Objective. Previous research has been unable to arrive at a consensus on the latent structure of environmental concern, yet without a grasp of the dimensionality of environmental concern our understanding of environmental policy support is necessarily limited. This research takes a different tack on this question by seeking to arrive at an understanding of the underlying dimensional nature of environmental policy support in the United States. Methods. This study analyzes a battery of questions from the National Election Study 1995 pilot. I use exploratory factor analysis, structural equations with maximum likelihood estimation (via EQS), and OLS regression to determine the statistical and substantive characteristics of the latent structure of environmental policy support. Results. Environmental policy support is shown to hold a monarchial hierarchical structure, where the second-order factor, environmental policy support, is comprised of three subdimensions. Further, I demonstrate that a substantive difference exists between these dimensions, as they are predicted by differing exogenous variables. Conclusions. I show environmental policy support to be a complex, multidimensional, and multilevel set of attitudes. Further, this research has implications for the environmental justice literature as it demonstrates that external efficacy and race are significant predictors of (only) the environmental quality assessment dimension.

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