The Elusiveness of Communicative Influence: How Key Socializers Influence Adolescents’ Proenvironmental Engagement

Yuliya Lakew


The focus of this study is communicative influence—words of encouragement and persuasion—and its role in young people’s proenvironmental engagement. It offers a holistic understanding of adolescents’ social context by studying communicative influence from three key socializers at once: parents, friends, and teachers. The study also contributes a longitudinal perspective by investigating behavior change over time in adolescents with different extents of communicative influence. Finally, the validity of the measurement of communicative influence is put to the test. The findings confirm the prominent role of parents in adolescents’ proenvironmental engagement, but also reveal that adolescents tend to misinterpret communicative influence from parents in line with their own environmental beliefs. Young people with two or more sources of encouragement are the most environmentally engaged; however, the extent of communicative influence does not increase their probability of being more engaged one year later.


proenvironmental behavior, environmental engagement, adolescents, environmental communication, climate change

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