Sustainability 2013, 5(5), 2191-2209; doi:10.3390/su5052191
Article

Coping with Climate Change among Adolescents: Implications for Subjective Well-Being and Environmental Engagement

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Received: 13 March 2013; in revised form: 26 April 2013 / Accepted: 12 May 2013 / Published: 14 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological and Behavioral Aspects of Sustainability)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: 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.
Keywords: global climate change; problem-focused coping; meaning-focused coping; climate change skepticism; optimism; subjective well-being; negative affect; pro-environmental behavior; environmental efficacy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ojala, M. Coping with Climate Change among Adolescents: Implications for Subjective Well-Being and Environmental Engagement. Sustainability 2013, 5, 2191-2209.

AMA Style

Ojala M. Coping with Climate Change among Adolescents: Implications for Subjective Well-Being and Environmental Engagement. Sustainability. 2013; 5(5):2191-2209.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ojala, Maria. 2013. "Coping with Climate Change among Adolescents: Implications for Subjective Well-Being and Environmental Engagement." Sustainability 5, no. 5: 2191-2209.

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