Bad wolf kills lovable rabbits: children’s attitudes toward predator and prey

  • Pavol Prokop
  • Milan Kubiatko
Keywords: Children, Attitudes, Predator, Prey, Education


This cross-age study explores children’s attitude toward a model predator (wolf) and prey (rabbit). We administered a Likert-type attitude questionnaire with 30 items (15 per predator and 15 per prey) to a total of 462 children aged 10 – 15 year in Slovakia. The mean score from three dimensions derived by a factor analysis (scientific, ecologistic and myths about parental care) was then subjected for pair wise comparisons. We found that younger children aged 10-11 year showed significantly more positive attitude toward a rabbit (prey) relative to wolf (predator). However, as children’s age increased, the difference in means score disappear and positive attitudes toward predator and prey generally decrease. We hypothesize that these patterns could reflect either greater children’s ‘ecological thinking’ or, more simply, decreasing interest toward animals in older children. The difference in attitudes toward predator and prey suggest that children’s affective domain should not be neglected in future environmental programs, because attitudes influence pro-environmental behavior of future citizens.

Author Biographies

Pavol Prokop
Trnava University Slovak Academy of Sciences
Milan Kubiatko
Trnava University