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      How communication with teachers, family and friends contributes to predicting climate change behaviour among adolescents

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      Environmental Conservation

      Cambridge University Press (CUP)

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          SUMMARY

          Engaging adolescents is critical to encouraging future climate change adaptation and mitigation behaviours. Adolescents are typically more receptive to climate change messages than adults, but educators and communicators need research-based strategies for optimizing engagement, including information about what factors are most influential in changing behaviours. To better understand how communication with teachers, friends and family, climate change knowledge and climate change concern predict climate change behaviour, we administered a survey to a random sample of middle school students in North Carolina, USA ( n = 1371). We measured climate change behaviour with a multi-item scale asking respondents about energy conservation, alternative transportation and engagement with environmental issues. We found that climate change concern and discussing climate change with family and friends predicted climate change behaviour. We also found that students from urban, high socioeconomic status schools were more likely to engage in climate change behaviour than students in urban, low socioeconomic status schools or rural schools. These results suggest that education efforts should leverage communication with family and friends in programming designed to encourage climate change behaviour. Further, efforts to promote climate change behaviour among low socioeconomic status urban and rural adolescents may be warranted, but would benefit from further investigation into the ideological, physical and knowledge-based drivers of behaviour differences documented in this study.

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          Most cited references 45

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          A domain-specific risk-attitude scale: measuring risk perceptions and risk behaviors

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            Party over policy: The dominating impact of group influence on political beliefs.

            Four studies demonstrated both the power of group influence in persuasion and people's blindness to it. Even under conditions of effortful processing, attitudes toward a social policy depended almost exclusively upon the stated position of one's political party. This effect overwhelmed the impact of both the policy's objective content and participants' ideological beliefs (Studies 1-3), and it was driven by a shift in the assumed factual qualities of the policy and in its perceived moral connotations (Study 4). Nevertheless, participants denied having been influenced by their political group, although they believed that other individuals, especially their ideological adversaries, would be so influenced. The underappreciated role of social identity in persuasion is discussed.
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              Changing Learner Behavior Through Environmental Education

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Environmental Conservation
                Envir. Conserv.
                Cambridge University Press (CUP)
                0376-8929
                1469-4387
                June 2018
                October 16 2017
                June 2018
                : 45
                : 2
                : 183-191
                Article
                10.1017/S0376892917000443
                © 2018

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