Climate Change Awareness and Attitudes Among Adolescents in the Czech Republic
Keywords:adolescence, proenvironmental attitudes, awareness, climate change, Czech Republic, environmental behaviour, knowledge
The distribution of climate change awareness of Czech adolescent students and their climate change related attitudes are analysed in this study. Even though the influence of accessed information on actual behaviour is usually described as rather small by most experimental studies, we argue that the effect of knowledge on specific behaviour becomes significant in a long time perspective. The main focus of the study is thus to offer a segmentation of youth in the issue of climate change related to information sources they trust and also related to the type of information on climate change – such as documents, processes, terms or numeral data.
A sample of students from Masaryk University and several grammar schools from Czech Republic participated in the quantitative study focusing on their knowledge of climate change, information sources they use and proenvironmental attitudes.
The survey highlighted the extremely low level of students’ knowledge. A strong tie between the amount of accessed information and evaluation of the seriousness of climate change was found. Trust in scientific evidence and effort not to rely only on one source of information does correlate with respondent awareness. Students, who understand climate change well, are often post-materialists. On the other hand, informed students do not feel greater concern and are not more globally focused than others. Although there is no clear relation between awareness and levels of consumerism, the more were the students informed, the more they feel their personal responsibility for climate change. Females are not on average better informed then males, but their feeling of personal responsibility is much higher. The study thus confirmed general expectations about unspecific awareness of climate change in the specific context and presented segmentations of the public for further social-marketing purposes.
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