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Young people and global climate change: Emotions, coping, and engagement in everyday life
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Sweden. (Psykologi)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6613-5974
2016 (English)In: Geographies of global issues: change and threat / [ed] N. Ansell, N. Klocker & T. Skelton, Springer, 2016, 329-346 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter focuses on research about how young people, mainly those from Northern Europe, relate to global climate change. Although in a sense this threat is spatially and temporally remote from the young people’s everyday lives, they come in contact with climate change through media and school and also relate concrete experiences to the threat. In this chapter climate change is seen as an existential, moral, and political problem. The aim is to investigate what emotions young people experience, how they cope, and how coping strategies are related to environmental efficacy, environmental engagement, and subjective wellbeing. Worry seems to be the most common emotion. Young people actively cope by using: (1) Problem-focused coping, i.e., thinking about, planning, and trying to do something to fight climate change; (2) Emotion-focused coping, for instance getting rid of negative emotions with distancing strategies; (3) Meaning-focused coping and hope, i.e., being able to switch perspective and see both negative and positive trends, and putting trust in more powerful societal actors. Meaning-focused coping seems to be an especially constructive strategy, since it is positively associated with environmental efficacy and engagement, as well as wellbeing. The chapter ends by arguing that it is important to let young people give voice to their climate-related emotions and that it is vital to realize that coping not only takes place at an individual level but is also a social process in which the adult world plays an important role

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2016. 329-346 p.
Geographies of children and young people, 8
Keyword [en]
Late childhood; Adolescence; Young adulthood; Global climate change; Worry; Climate skepticism; Hope; Problem-focused coping; Meaning-focused coping; Proenvironmental behavior
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-53274DOI: 10.1007/978-981-4585-54-5_3ISBN: 978-981-4585-53-8ISBN: 978-981-4585-54-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-53274DiVA: diva2:1039963
Young people´s communication with parents, friends, and teachers about global environmental problems: Emotions, coping, and self-efficacy
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2010-1152
Available from: 2016-10-25 Created: 2016-10-25 Last updated: 2016-10-26Bibliographically approved

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Ojala, Maria
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School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Sweden

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