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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2025
  2. Abstract

    Spillover effects are considered important in evaluating the impacts of food, energy and water (FEW) conservation behaviors for limiting global greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Failure to account for all possible spillovers, or indirect and unintended results of an intervention, not only obscures valuable information pertaining to the dynamic interactions across domains but also results in biased estimates. In this study, we first systematically reviewed articles that investigate the idea that the performance of one pro-environmental behavior influences the conduct of subsequent behaviors(s) from the FEW domains. From our review of 48 studies in the last decade, we note that a big part of the discussion on spillover concerns the nature and direction of causal relationships between individual FEW conservation behaviors. We identify a critical gap in the literature regarding the distinction between spillover effects caused by the interventions as distinct from those caused by the primary behaviors. Next, we conducted a quantitative meta-analysis of the reviewed empirical studies to find a modest but overall positive spillover effect. Finally, we reviewed the theoretical and methodological plurality in the FEW spillover literature using a systemic thinking lens to summarize what is already known and identify future challenges and research opportunities with significant policy implications.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  3. Abstract

    Social practice theory offers a multidisciplinary perspective on the relationship between infrastructure and wellbeing. One prominent model in practice theory framessystems of provisionas the rules, resources, and structures that enable the organization of social practices, encompassing both material and immaterial aspects of infrastructures. A second well-known model frames social practices in terms of their constituent elements: meanings, materials, and competences. Reconciling these two models, we argue that household capacity to respond to shifting systems of provision to maintain wellbeing is profoundly tied to the dynamics of privilege and inequity. To examine these dynamics, we propose a new analytical tool utilizing the Bourdieuian conceptualization of forms of capital, deepening the ability of social practice theory to address structural inequities by re-examining the question ofwhois able to access specific infrastructures. To illustrate this approach, we examine how households adapted to shifting systems of provision during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data from 183 households in the Midwestern United States, we apply this tool to analyze adaptations to disruptions of multiple systems of provision, including work, school, food, and health, from February 2020 to August 2021. We highlight how household wellbeing during the pandemic has been impacted by forms of capital available to specific households, even as new social practices surrounding COVID-19 prevention became increasingly politicized. This research provides insight into both acute challenges and resilient social practices involving household consumption, indicating a need for policies that can address structural inequities across multiple systems of provision.

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  4. null (Ed.)
  5. The food-energy-water (FEW) nexus presents an opportunity to rethink predominant approaches to household behavior change science. We linked emerging FEW nexus research with existing literature examining household consumption and pro-environmental behaviors. While a large body of work examines the environmental impacts of household life and explores pathways to behavior change for sustainability, the literature lacks studies that test interventions in multiple FEW resource categories, leaving researchers unable to identify tensions and tradeoffs in the household system. To guide this developing field and accumulate findings on household behavior across disciplines, we proposed a conceptual typology that synthesizes interdisciplinary analytic traditions to classify behavioral interventions targeting the household FEW nexus. The typology synthesizes behavioral interventions as active, passive, or structural, and household-specific or non-specific, illustrating six distinct categories: information, tailored information, action, gamification, policy/price change, and material/technology provision. A review of 40 studies that guided the typology identifies four significant lessons for future intervention research: household non-specific information and tailored information work better together, feedback is more effective when it is persistent, price-based interventions (information or incentives) are often ineffective, and material/technology provision is very effective but utilized in few household studies. To push forward household resource consumption science, we advocated for a holistic nexus focus that is rooted in interdisciplinarity, coalition building with stakeholders, and data reporting that facilitates knowledge accumulation. 
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