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'Listen to me!': Young people's experiences of talking about emotional impacts of climate change

Version 2 2024-06-05, 06:09
Version 1 2023-11-03, 02:10
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-05, 06:09 authored by Charlotte JonesCharlotte Jones, Chloe LucasChloe Lucas
The emotional significance of climate change for young people is becoming recognised. However, their experiences of talking about these feelings are not well understood, despite being acknowledged as an important avenue for support and social change. This article reports on a survey of 1,943 young people aged 15–19 years living in Australia. The survey examined their level of concern about climate change, the feelings they associate with climate change, whom they talk to about these feelings, under what conditions, and with what effects. Respondents reported a high level of concern about climate change, most associated with feelings of worry, powerlessness, and frustration. Friends were most trusted to share these feelings with, followed by parents/guardians and then teachers. The most important predictor of young people talking about their climate feelings was whether they felt listened to. Respondents were more likely to feel comfortable having climate conversations with younger or same-aged people and associated these conversations with hope. In contrast, climate conversations with older people were most often associated with betrayal, uncertainty, and worry. Through open-ended responses, the young people surveyed called for further respect and consideration of their views, opportunities to drive action and lead climate conversations, and a need for shared understanding of the issues at stake. Our findings highlight opportunities for those who care about and interact with young people to help them come to terms with the challenges of living in a changing climate through listening and creating safe spaces for what can be difficult discussions.

Funding

Affecting the Future: Emotions in the Anthropocene : Westpac Banking Corporation

History

Publication title

Global Environmental Change

Volume

83

Issue

The Educational and Developmental Psychologist 37 1 2020

Article number

102744

Pagination

15

ISSN

0959-3780

Department/School

Biological Sciences, Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences, IMAS Directorate, Office of the School of Social Sciences

Publisher

ELSEVIER SCI LTD

Publication status

  • Published

Rights statement

Copyright 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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