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Coping with climate change among adolescents: Implications for subjective well-being and environmental engagement
Department of Education, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. (Psykologi)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6613-5974
2013 (English)In: Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy, ISSN 1548-7733, E-ISSN 1548-7733, Vol. 5, no 5, 2191-2209 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The objective of this questionnaire study was to investigate how Swedish adolescents (n = 321) cope with climate change and how different coping strategies are associated with environmental efficacy, pro-environmental behavior, and subjective well-being. The results were compared to an earlier study on 12-year-olds, and the same coping strategies, problem-focused coping, de-emphasizing the seriousness of the threat, and meaning-focused coping, were identified. As in the study on children, problem-focused and meaning-focused coping were positively related to felt efficacy and environmental behavior, while de-emphasizing the threat was negatively related to these measures. As expected, the more problem-focused coping the adolescents used, the more likely it was that they experienced negative affect in everyday life. This association was explained by the tendency for highly problem-focused adolescents to worry more about climate change. In contrast, meaning-focused coping was positively related to both well-being and optimism. When controlling for well-known predictors such as values and gender, meaning-focused and problem-focused coping were independent positive predictors of environmental efficacy and pro-environmental behavior, while de-emphasizing the threat was a negative predictor of pro-environmental behavior. The results are discussed in relation to coping theories and earlier studies on coping with climate change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Basel, Switzerland: MDPI AG , 2013. Vol. 5, no 5, 2191-2209 p.
Keyword [en]
global climate change; problem-focused coping; meaning-focused coping; climate change skepticism; optimism; subjective well-being; negative affect; pro-environmental behavior; environmental efficacy
National Category
Psychology Environmental Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-53292DOI: 10.3390/su5052191ISI: 000324048800023ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84882738386OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-53292DiVA: diva2:1040261
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: 2016-10-26 Created: 2016-10-26 Last updated: 2016-10-27Bibliographically approved

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