Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Stephen Groce, Joan Krenzin, A. Goetting

Degree Program

Department of Sociology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


This study focuses on motivation -Involved in recycling behavior among residents of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. Knowledge of recycling and how it was acquired, and the variables of environmental concern, economic incentive and the peer pressure were compared so that behavior could be distinguished that separated recyclers from nonrecyclers. Talcott Parsons' work in action theory and George Homans' work in exchange theory provide the theoretical foundation for my study. The research was approached in a qualitatively based design with interviews of twenty area residents. Demographic factors of age, sex, religious affiliation, church attendance, education and income of respondents were solicited. In addition to interviews, I administered a demographic survey.

Recycling behavior was correlated positively with older age, convenience, female sex, higher levels of education, higher income, affiliation with liberal church denominations, and urban residence. It was negativley correlated with church attendance. Recyclers were better informed about environmental topics, especially those pertaining to recycling. Peer pressure was shown to have a positive effect on recyclers and recycling behavior. Recyclers were concerned about the quality of their environment, while nonrecyclers felt that the quality of the local environment was above average.


Civic and Community Engagement | Environmental Monitoring | Environmental Sciences | Environmental Studies | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Regional Sociology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology | Sustainability