Psychological and emotional responses to climate change among young people worldwide: Differences associated with gender, age, and country

Susan Clayton, Panu Pihkala, Britt Wray, Elizabeth Marks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Recent research has described concern and anxiety about climate change, especially among young people, but limited data are available looking at the responses of adolescents. Based on further analysis of an existing dataset that obtained survey responses from young people aged 16–25 in 10 different countries, this paper examines differences associated with gender and age, which are important predictors of vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. Gender differences were small but consistent, with female respondents expressing greater levels of concern and negative emotions, while male respondents were more optimistic and expressed greater faith in the government. Within this narrow age group, there were small but significant positive correlations showing that concern and negative emotions about climate change were higher among older respondents. There were complex differences among countries; in general, respondents in the Philippines, India, and Nigeria reported a stronger psychological impact of climate change than respondents in the United States and Finland. These results help to describe the extent and patterns of climate anxiety in multiple locations around the world in an age range that is relatively understudied.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3540
JournalSustainability
Volume15
Issue number4
Early online date9 Feb 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Data Availability Statement
Marks, E., Hickman, C., Pihkala, P., 2022. Dataset for “Climate anxiety in children and young people and their beliefs about government responses to climate change: a global survey”. Bath: University of Bath Research Data Archive. Available from: https://doi.org/10.15125/BATH-01124 (accessed on 20 December 2022).
Conflicts of Interest

Keywords

  • climate anxiety
  • emotions
  • gender
  • global survey
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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