Promoting Subjective Well-Being and a Sustainable Lifestyle in Children and Youth by Strengthening Their Personal Psychological Resources

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenÜbersichtsarbeitenForschung


Recent research confirms that climate change is having serious negative effects on children’s and adolescents’ mental health. Being aware of global warming, its dramatic consequences for individual and collective goals, and the urgent need for action to prevent further warming seems to be so overwhelming for young people that it may lead to paralyzing emotions like (future) anxiety, worries, shame, guilt, and reduced well-being overall. Many children and adolescents feel hopeless in view of the challenges posed by the transformations towards a sustainable future. Feeling powerless widens the gap between knowledge and action which in turn may exacerbate feelings of hopelessness. One of the tasks for parents, educators, and policymakers is therefore to empower young people to act against global warming, both individually and collectively. Psychological resources were identified as precursors of pro-environmental behavior. A theoretical model (and accompanying empirical research) is presented which elaborates on the links between self-efficacy, self-acceptance, mindfulness, capacity for pleasure, construction of meaning, and solidarity on the one hand, and subjective well-being and sustainable behavior on the other hand. This literature review suggests starting points for programs that aim to promote both psychological resources, subjective well-being, and individual and collective pro-environmental behaviors in young people.

Anzahl der Seiten16
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.2024

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