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Research group

Youth, sustainable development, and climate change

About this group

Group information


Maria Ojala

Research subject

Research environments

A poster with the text Our world is characterized by global sustainability problems such as climate change, depleted biodiversity and the corona crisis. In this research area we study how people, with a main focus on young people from late childhood to early adulthood, relate to these global problems.

Three subthemes are in focus:
(1) How do children and adults cope with these global problems and related emotions? How do different coping strategies relate to diverse aspects of psychological well-being and civic engagement? What are the existential implications of these risks and problems and how do young people create hope and meaning in this context?

(2) What factors can explain why teenagers and adults choose to live, or not live, in a sustainable manner, for example choosing climate friendly and healthy food, recycling, and saving energy in the household? Why are some young people collectively engaged and what impact does this engagement have on their views of the future?

(3) Applied research where we conduct research about education for sustainable development, climate change communication and interventions of various kinds.

We use both quantitative survey data (cross sectional and longitudinal) and qualitative data in our research, and also write theoretical articles. Our research is conducted in close collaboration with both international researchers and with researchers at other universities in Sweden and we also collaborate with different societal actors. We have participated in the media on a large number of occasions both nationally and internationally. We regularly hold popular scientific presentations and participate in panels discussions both nationally and internationally.

Research funding bodies

  • The Swedish Research Council Formas
  • The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE)