Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Greed doesn’t grow on trees: the indirect association between proenvironmental behaviour and materialism through adolescents’ psychological entitlement

List of AuthorsLiu Meiting, Koivula Aki

PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited

Publication year2023

JournalYoung Consumers

Volume number23




Self-archived copy’s web address


This study aims to explore the potential that acting proenvironmentally protects adolescents from developing materialistic value.


Convenience sampling was adopted to collect data from two randomly selected secondary schools in central China. A total of 784 participants were included in the survey.


The mediation analysis revealed that adolescent proenvironmental behaviour was negatively associated with materialism. The results of the moderated mediation model showed that psychological entitlement mediates the association between adolescent proenvironmental behaviour and materialism, and that family socioeconomic status acts as a moderator in the association between proenvironmental behaviour and psychological entitlement.

Practical implications

The current results advise educational practitioners on alleviating adolescent materialism. Policy makers and schools can add more environmental practice to the curriculum and extracurricular activities. Moreover, identifying the personal benefits of proenvironmental behaviour can motivate young people to act proenvironmentally, which not only factually reduces over-consumption but also attracts more attention from young people to the environment.


Previous studies rarely explored the individual belief or perception accounting for the negative association between proenvironmental behaviour and materialism. Therefore, the authors adopt psychological entitlement, a belief reflecting the dark side of individual perception, to explain why proenvironmental behaviour reduces materialism.

Downloadable publication

This is an electronic reprint of the original article.
This reprint may differ from the original in pagination and typographic detail. Please cite the original version.

Last updated on 2023-15-06 at 16:27