Environmental awareness of university students in Colombia

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The objective of this article was to evaluate the level of environmental awareness of university students in a peripheral region of southern Colombia. Environmental awareness was approached as a multidimensional variable consisting of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral dimensions. The study was quantitative, approached from the deductive method and descriptive type. The study population corresponded to young university students, and a non-probabilistic convenience sampling was used. For the environmental awareness variable, an instrument was developed with a Likert-type scale based on multiple research studies. The sample consisted of 527 university students. The reliability of the study was evaluated with Cronbach's alpha and composite reliability, while validity was analyzed with mean variance explained and confirmatory factor analysis, being in all cases satisfactory. As a result, modest levels of environmental awareness were evidenced in all dimensions, which is particularly worrying as most of the young people surveyed were between 18 and 25 years old, indicating low interest, knowledge, and availability for environmental issues among future professionals of the South Colombian region. The results were in line with certain results found in similar research reported in the literature. Nevertheless, the situation is worrisome because young students are the new generation of citizens.

Acknowledgment
This article was written within the framework of the Special Cooperation Agreement No. 230 of 2023 signed between the Universidad Surcolombiana and the Corporación Autónoma Regional del Alto Magdalena CAM in the project “Implementation of the SENDICAM Science Center as a strategy for the recognition, conservation and social appropriation of the natural heritage in the central and southern area of the department of Huila” BPIN 2021000100425.

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    • Table 1. Operationalization of the variable
    • Table 2. Demographic characteristics
    • Table 3. Descriptive statistics
    • Table 4. Reliability and validity
    • Table 5. Goodness-of-fit Indices
    • Table 6. Analysis of the hypothesized relationships
    • Conceptualization
      Juan Manuel Andrade Navia, Elvia Jiménez Zapata, German Hembuz Falla, Sergio Santos Sánchez
    • Data curation
      Juan Manuel Andrade Navia, Elvia Jiménez Zapata, Sergio Santos Sánchez, Dayana Castro Guevara
    • Methodology
      Juan Manuel Andrade Navia, Dayana Castro Guevara
    • Formal Analysis
      Juan Manuel Andrade Navia, German Hembuz Falla, Sergio Santos Sánchez, Dayana Castro Guevara
    • Investigation
      Juan Manuel Andrade Navia, Elvia Jiménez Zapata, Sergio Santos Sánchez, Dayana Castro Guevara
    • Software
      Juan Manuel Andrade Navia, Dayana Castro Guevara
    • Supervision
      Juan Manuel Andrade Navia, Elvia Jiménez Zapata, German Hembuz Falla
    • Validation
      Juan Manuel Andrade Navia, Sergio Santos Sánchez
    • Visualization
      Juan Manuel Andrade Navia, German Hembuz Falla, Sergio Santos Sánchez
    • Writing – original draft
      Juan Manuel Andrade Navia, Elvia Jiménez Zapata, German Hembuz Falla, Sergio Santos Sánchez, Dayana Castro Guevara
    • Writing – review & editing
      Juan Manuel Andrade Navia, Elvia Jiménez Zapata, German Hembuz Falla, Sergio Santos Sánchez, Dayana Castro Guevara
    • Resources
      Elvia Jiménez Zapata, German Hembuz Falla