How do children cope with global climate change? Coping strategies, engagement, and well-being

Research
TitleHow do children cope with global climate change? Coping strategies, engagement, and well-being
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsOjala, M
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Volume32
Issue3
Pagination225 - 233
Date Published2012/09//
ISBN Number0272-4944
KeywordsClimate change skepticism, Meaning-focused coping, Negative affect, Optimism, pro-environmental behavior, Problem-focused coping
AbstractThe aim of this questionnaire study was to explore how Swedish 12-year-olds (n = 293) cope with climate change, and how different coping strategies relate to environmental engagement and well-being. Three coping strategies were identified: problem-focused coping, de-emphasizing the seriousness of climate change, and meaning-focused coping. Problem-focused and meaning-focused coping had positive associations with measures of environmental engagement, while de-emphasizing the threat had negative associations with engagement. Problem-focused coping was positively related to general negative affect, which was explained by the tendency for highly problem-focused children to worry more about climate change. In contrast, the more meaning-focused coping the children used the less they experienced negative affect, and the more they experienced life satisfaction, general positive affect, purpose, and optimism. Finally, moderation analyses revealed that for children high on problem-focused coping; meaning-focused coping, purpose, and optimism worked as buffers against negative affect. The importance of positive emotions for constructive coping is discussed.
URLhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272494412000138
Short TitleJournal of Environmental Psychology