The Recycling Intentions of Sport Spectators: A Theory of Planned Behavior Approach Thesis uri icon


  • Sport organizations have a negative impact on the environment but these organizations have begun environmental initiatives to decrease their impact. Introducing recycling programs not only offers visible environmental effort to decrease the organizations impact but such programs can provide financial savings for the organization. Thus, my dissertations purpose is to understand the recycling intentions of sport spectators by the means of three studies theoretically framed using the theory of planned behavior. Study 1 examined the recycling intentions of individuals after consuming plastic water bottles within a campus environment. Participants were undergraduate students (N = 144) enrolled in physical activity classes at a southwestern university in the United States (males n=83, 57.6 percent, females n=60, 41.7 percent; mostly White n=96, 66.7 percent; age M=19.6, SD=1.33). The results indicate that subjective norms ( = .29, p < .001) and attitudes ( = .14, p < .05) towards recycling significantly predicted intentions to recycle plastic bottles after consumption. Study 2 analyzed the recycling intentions within a sport context. Participants (N=129) were adult spectators attending a weekend long youth baseball tournament in the Southwest United States (women n=85, 65.9 percent, men n=40, 31.0 percent; predominately White n=97, 75.2 percent; age M=44.47 years, SD=10.20). Similar to Study 1, subjective norms ( = .27, p < .01) significantly predicted intentions to recycle. However, unlike Study 1, perceived behavioral controls ( = .21, p < .05) were significant in predicting intentions to recycle. Lastly, Study 3 augmented my investigation to understand the unique context of recycling intentions among sport spectators. I used qualitative research methods to understand recycling intentions of spectators during a large scale-sporting event. Participants (N=16) were adults that regularly attend college football games at a large southwestern university (men n=10, women n=6; age M=37.44). The results indicate that recycling within a sport context is unique considering the game day atmosphere. Collectively, the findings from the three studies are discussed as to influence decision-making policies within sport organizations to improve recycling programs and to decrease the organizations negative environmental impact. Finally, recommendations are made for future research to understand recycling behaviors of sport spectators.

author list (cited authors)

  • McCullough, B. P.

complete list of authors

  • McCullough, Brian Patrick

publication date

  • July 2012