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Climate change skepticism among adolescents
Department of Education, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. (Psykologi)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6613-5974
2015 (English)In: Journal of Youth Studies, ISSN 1367-6261, E-ISSN 1469-9680, Vol. 18, no 9, 1135-1153 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Young people relate to one of the most serious social problems, global climate change, in different ways. This study focuses on adolescents (Time 1: mean age = 16.6 years) who de-emphasize the seriousness of this problem. Hierarchical regression analyses were performed to investigate what factors predict climate skepticism cross-sectionally and what factors predict climate skepticism one year later. Two waves of data were collected (Time 1: n = 870; Time 2: n = 684). Factors important for explaining skepticism among adults (values, knowledge, conservative political orientation, gender, media use), a cluster of variables related to societal powerlessness (distrust, disinterest in societal issues, low environmental efficacy, low tolerance toward immigrants), and descriptive social norms (social influence from parents and peers) were included in the study. With the exception of media use in cross-sectional analyses, and of media use and a conservative political orientation in bivariate longitudinal analyses, all of these factors were significantly associated with skepticism. However, only perceiving parents as having climate skeptical attitudes and low tolerance toward immigrants predicted an increase in climate change skepticism over the one-year period. Results are discussed in relation to earlier studies about climate change skepticism and socialization theories. Implications for climate change education are also discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2015. Vol. 18, no 9, 1135-1153 p.
Keyword [en]
descriptive social norms; values; tolerance toward immigrant; environ- mental efficacy; youth; climate change education
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-53290DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2015.1020927ISI: 000364950800003ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84941734681OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-53290DiVA: diva2:1040257
Projects
Young people´s communication with parents, friends, and teachers about global environmental problems: Emotions, coping, and self-efficacy
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2010-1152Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2016-10-26 Created: 2016-10-26 Last updated: 2016-10-27Bibliographically approved

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Ojala, Maria
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