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About the Project


Climate change is one of the most pressing contemporary issues. Even though research among younger generations is still scarce, some studies have demonstrated that youth are particularly vulnerable because several of their present and future life dimensions may be affected (Clayton et al., 2017; Han & Ahn, 2020; Ojala, 2015; Sanson et al., 2018). At the same time, their role as agents of change has been determinant for climate action, as demonstrated by global climate strikes (Hahn & Ahn, 2020; Sanson et al., 2019). 


Therefore, it is critical to study to what extent the developmental paths of these generations may be compromised and how their role in society can be enhanced. Positive Youth Development models have been applied to research developed in the context of other global crises (Arnold, 2020; Frasquilho et al., 2018) for the emphasis placed simultaneously on personal development and contributions to the development of society.

This project is funded by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (the Portuguese national funding agency for science, research, and technology) and has received ethical approval from the Ethics Committee on Social and Human Sciences, University of Minho. 

Arnold, M. E. (2020). America’s Moment: Investing in Positive Youth Development to Transform Youth and Society. Journal of Youth Development, 15:5, 16–36. doi: 10.5195/jyd.2020.996

Clayton, S., Manning, C. M., Krygsman, K., and Speiser, M. (2017). Mental health and our changing climate: Impacts, implications, and guidance. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, and ecoAmerica.

Frasquilho, D., Ozer, E. J., Ozer, E. M., Branquinho, C., Camacho, I., Reis, M., et al. (2018). Dream Teens: Adolescents-Led Participatory Project in Portugal in the Context of the Economic Recession. Health Promotion Practice, 19:1, 51–59. doi: 10.1177/1524839916660679

Han, H., and Ahn, S. W. (2020). Youth Mobilization to Stop Global Climate Change: Narratives and Impact. Sustainability, 12:10, 4127. doi: 10.3390/su12104127

Ojala, M. (2015). “Young People and Global Climate Change: Emotions, Coping, and Engagement in Everyday Life,” in Geographies of Global Issues: Change and Threat, eds. N. Ansell, N. Klocker, and T. Skelton (Singapore: Springer Singapore), 1–19. doi: 10.1007/978-981-4585-95-8_3-1


Sanson, A. V., Wachs, T. D., Koller, S. H., and Salmela-Aro, K. (2018). “Young People and Climate Change: The Role of Developmental Science,” in Developmental Science and Sustainable Development Goals for Children and Youth, eds. S. Verma and A. C. Petersen, 115–137. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-96592-5_6


Sanson, A. V., Van Hoorn, J., and Burke, S. E. L. (2019). Responding to the Impacts of the Climate Crisis on Children and Youth. Child Development Perspectives, 13:4, 201–207. doi: /10.1111/cdep.12342


Positive Youth Development

We will validate some assessment scales relevant for strengthening scientific knowledge in this area.

Using real-time research methodologies, we will collect data related to adolescents' and young adults' daily life subjective experience, in order to inform research and practice in the context of climate change. 

We intend to design intervention models that can inform public policies, future research projects, and intervention programs for adolescents and young adults, regarding the challenges posed by climate change in this developmental period.


Well-Being and Daily Life
Intervention Programs

We aim to gather up-to-date scientific information about positive youth development in the context of climate change and advance clues for future research.

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